2SLGBTQ+ people disproportionately affected by the pandemic
Since the start of the pandemic, the increase in substance use has been greatest among LGBTQ2+ people. Additionally, symptoms of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts were reportedly observed at higher rates in these individuals. This is shown by a series of Leger polls conducted throughout the pandemic.
The results of surveys commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Center on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) are unequivocal. Nearly one in four respondents from the LGBTQ2+ community claim to have excellent or very good mental health. This figure is 43% for the rest of the population.
“We are sharing this report as Pride celebrations take place this summer to recognize that 2SLGBTQ+ communities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic due to increased social, political and economic inequality,” states in a statement. communicated the president and general manager of the CSMC, Michel Rodrigue.
Since the start of the pandemic, 60% of young LGBTQ2+ people report suffering from moderate or severe symptoms of anxiety. Depressive syndromes are found in 40% of them and suicidal thoughts in nearly a third of these young people.
Alcohol consumption since the start of the pandemic has also increased considerably. It was 50% higher among members of LGBTQ2+ communities than among the general population. Twice as many respondents from these communities also said they had increased their cannabis use.
Limited access to care
The report shows that finances are the biggest barrier to accessing mental health and addictions services among LGBTQ2+ respondents.
People of sexual and gender diversity would also have been less likely to obtain services in person. For virtual mental health services, only 30% of LGBTQ2+ respondents would have had access to them.
These findings highlight the importance of continuing to invest in culturally safe mental health and substance use environments and services for 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
Rita Notarandrea, CCSA President and CEO
The polls were conducted every two months throughout the pandemic. The MHCC is responsible for making recommendations to improve the national mental health system.
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