A report from the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael’s Hospital has found that immigrants are less likely to get treatment for depression than Canadian-born individuals even though both groups experience about the same levels of anxiety and depression.
The study surveyed people who had seen a doctor or other health professional about their depression. Only six per cent of recent immigrants (10 years or less in Canada), and seven per cent of non-recent immigrants (more than 10 years in Canada), received treatment in the past 12 months, compared to 10 per cent of Canadian-born survey members.
Additionally, 11 per cent of recent immigrants and 15 per cent of non-recent immigrants took prescription medications for mental health problems, compared to 21 per cent of Canadian-born survey members. Recent immigrants were also half as likely to have consulted with a psychiatrist as Canadian-born individuals.
The survey also collected useful information about mental health and addictions. Immigrants were less likely to experience panic attacks, report intimate partner violence, or be addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, or other drugs than Canadian-born individuals. Most participants, whether immigrant or Canadian-born, visited a doctor in the 12 months prior to the survey conducted for the report.
For more information, see “The Mental Health and Well-being of Immigrants in Toronto: A report to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care” at www.stmichaelshospital.com.