Approximately three-quarters of Canadians are considered to be psychologically ‘flourishing,” a new Statistics Canada report suggests. However, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario believes the statistics released today are not as promising as people might think. This morning, Statistics Canada released their analysis of results from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey – Mental Health, focusing on the percentage of Canadians, aged 15 or older, in three mental health categories (as defined by the Mental Health Continuum – Short Form):
- moderate mental health.
Key findings of the report:
- In 2012, the percentages of Canadians classified as having flourishing, moderate or languishing mental health were 76.9 percent, 21.6 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.
- An estimated 72.5 percent of Canadians aged 15 or older (19.8 million) were categorized as having complete mental health (complete mental health is defined as both flourishing and being free of mental illness).
- People living in urban environments were significantly less likely (72 percent) than rural residents (77 percent ) to be in complete mental health.
- Those who reported strong spirituality were significantly more likely (76 percent versus 66 percent ) to be in complete mental health than were those not classified as having strong spirituality.
- Canadians in the lowest household income quintile, without a postsecondary education, and without a job or permanently unable to work were less likely to report complete mental health.
- Although much less common, flourishing or moderate mental health can occur in the presence of mental illness (4.5 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively), and languishing mental health can occur with or without the presence of a mental disorder (0.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively).
For the full report and data table, visit the Statistics Canada website.
Camille Quenneville, CEO of Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario says the statistics released today – especially the 76.9 percent of Canadians deemed “flourishing” – should be taken with a grain of salt.
“When you flip it on its head it’s similar to what the mental health community has been saying for the past several years. There is a significant portion of the population that still needs help. And in spite of today’s analysis, we still know that one in five people live with a mental health issue each year, 500,000 people are going to miss work this week because of a mental health issue and that death by suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. The needle hasn’t moved and our vision of mental health for all remains equally relevant today.”
The CMHA National and Ontario Branches have come together to analyze the report and has drawn out some important themes. Download the full analysis.
More CMHA coverage in the media on this issue can be found below:
CTV News (CMHA National)
CBC News (CMHA National)
CFRA 580 News – Talk Radio (CMHA National)
The Daily Courier (CMHA National)
The Niagara Falls Review (CMHA Niagara)
St. Catherine’s Standard (CMHA Niagara)
mysask.com (CMHA National)