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Mental health of Canadians - it matters

October 10, 2023, 11:00 a.m. (EDT)

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, an opportunity to improve knowledge, raise awareness and drive actions that promote and protect everyone’s mental health, whoever and wherever they are.

Mental health is the state of your psychological and emotional well-being. Good mental health is necessary for living a healthy life and is a main factor in overall health. Poor mental health can lead to mental and physical illness.

In 2022, more than 5 million people in Canada met the diagnostic criteria for a mood, anxiety or substance use disorder, with the prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders increasing substantially over the previous 10 years.

For example, the proportion of Canadians aged 15 years and older with a generalized anxiety disorder doubled from 2012 to 2022, from 2.6% to 5.2%.

Similar increases were seen for the 12-month prevalence of major depressive episodes, up from 4.7% in 2012 to 7.6% in 2022, and of bipolar disorders, which went from 1.5% to 2.1% over the same period.

Seeking help for mental health can be challenging, and it is okay to not know where to turn to.

According to the 2022 Mental Health and Access to Care Survey, among the 18.3% of Canadians aged 15 years and older who met diagnostic criteria for a mood, anxiety or substance use disorder in the 12 months before the survey, about half (48.8%) reported that they had talked to a health professional about their mental health in the past year.

People who met diagnostic criteria for a mood, anxiety or substance use disorder were more likely to report having received counselling (43.8%), than medication (36.5%) or information (32.0%) for their mental health.

No matter where you’re at, know that you are not alone. We all face different problems and challenges in life that can be difficult to overcome on our own. Sometimes we may need a helping hand in dealing with an unexpected crisis, a difficult event or even the stress and demands of everyday life.

Most of the time, we can deal successfully with such problems on our own, or with the help of friends and family. When these supports don’t seem to be enough, the next step may be talking to a professional to see what additional approaches might help get you back on track.

Mental wellness resources and crisis help

The following are some mental wellness resources available:

Crisis centres near you:

Website: Lifeline Canada

Kids Help Phone

• Toll-free 1-800-668-6868 

• Text 686868 (no data plan, Internet connection or app required)

• Live chat:

Additional resources are available on the Government of Canada website on suicide prevention.

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Contact information

For more information, contact the Statistical Information Service (toll-free 1-800-263-1136514-283-8300; or Media Relations (