Health Rep. 2022 Aug 18;33(8):19-30. doi: 10.25318/82-003-x202200800002-eng.
BACKGROUND: Mental health among Canadians has worsened since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this study was to identify profiles of mental health difficulties and to quantify the relationships between mental health profiles, negative impacts related to the pandemic and suicidal ideation.
DATA AND METHODS: Participants were 22,721 adults (18 years and older) from the 2020 and 2021 Survey on COVID-19 and Mental Health. Latent profile analysis was used to identify patterns of anxiety, depression and psychological distress. The relationships between mental health profiles, negative impacts and suicidal ideation were examined using logistic regression models.
RESULTS: Three mental health profiles were identified. Individuals were classified as having no mental health difficulties (Profile 1, 65.70%), low-to-moderate mental health difficulties (Profile 2, 25.52%) and severe mental health difficulties (Profile 3, 8.78%). Individuals in Profiles 2 and 3 were at greater odds than individuals in Profile 1 of experiencing emotional distress; the death of a family member, friend or colleague; difficulty in meeting financial obligations or essential needs; the loss of a job or income; feelings of loneliness or isolation; physical health problems; challenges in personal relationships with household members; and other impacts. Individuals in Profile 2 (4.27%, odds ratio (OR) = 24.30) and Profile 3 (19.09%, odds ratio (OR) = 115.75) were considerably more likely to have contemplated suicide since the onset of the pandemic compared with those in Profile 1 (0.16%).
INTERPRETATION: Individuals who experienced high levels of anxiety, depression and psychological distress were most vulnerable to negative impacts related to the pandemic and suicidal ideation.