More than 46 per cent of Vancouver Island residents reported worsening health during COVID-19 in a province-wide survey released Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

More than 46 per cent of Vancouver Island residents reported worsening health during COVID-19 in a province-wide survey released Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Islanders’ mental health takes heavy hit under COVID-19: survey results

COVID-19 SPEAK survey collected results from nearly 400,000 B.C. residents

A B.C.-wide survey on people’s experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed what many Island residents already knew – mental health has taken a significant hit.

Data from the May 2020 survey was released on Friday (Dec. 4) and showed that 46 per cent of Islanders reported worsening mental health as a result of the pandemic.

Younger populations were especially hard hit with 54 per cent of people between the ages of 18 and 29, 53 per cent of people aged 30 to 39, and 50 per cent of people aged 40 to 49 experiencing deteriorating mental health. Only 29 per cent of people aged 80 and over reported the same.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 has depressed mental health of Canadian youth

Numbers were also higher for women, households with children and people with lower incomes.

The data also showed mental health was the most likely to have worsened for people who identified as West Asian/Arab at 55 per cent, followed by Latin American/Hispanic at 52 per cent and white at 46 per cent.

An even greater number of respondents said they found thoughts about the pandemic consuming, with 59 per cent of Islanders reporting thinking about COVID-19 much of the time. Again, this number was higher for women at 64 per cent while 53 per cent of men reported feeling this way.

A third of people said they felt in control, while 22 per cent said they felt helpless. The percent of those feeling in control was significantly lower for people who identified at West Asian/Arab at 17 per cent. Respondents who identified as Black led those feeling helpless at 32 per cent, followed by South Asian at 30 per cent and West Asian/Arab at 28 per cent.

Financial stress and reduced social connections also weighed heavy on Islanders.

READ ALSO: 60% of Canadian workers would take a pay cut for better mental health support: survey

Nearly 38 per cent of respondents expressed stress about their future financial situation and 29 per cent about their current one. Younger populations, households with children and people with lower incomes reported especially high financial stress.

More than 42 per cent of Islanders reported they were connecting with their family less and 62 per cent said they were connecting with their friends less.

Despite it all, the data shows that COVID-19 may have brought Islanders together. Nearly 67 per cent of respondents said they felt a strong sense of community belonging.

Across the province, 394,382 people responded to the survey. Results were weighted using 2016 Canadian Census data by geography for age, sex, educational level and ethnicity to account for differences in sample demographics and ensure the sample was as representative as possible.

A complete breakdown of the province-wide results can be found on the B.C. COVID-19 SPEAKS Survey dashboard.


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

CoronavirusGreater VictoriaIsland Healthmental healthVancouver Island Health Authority

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The construction zone remains for now at Clover Point, but plans for a new pedestrian zone and partially closed traffic loop were approved by Victoria councillors on Thursday. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria council compromises with partial closure of Clover Point

Option preserves parking 14 spots facing ocean, creates more pedestrian space

(Black Press Media file photo)
Trees Cannabis to reignite downtown Victoria location as licensed store

The dispensary will reopen its 230 Cook St. location on Saturday

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Sergeant Francis Dion with the box containing HMCS Calgary’s new secret mascot costume. (HMCSNCSMCalgary/Facebook)
Don Devenney is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Community Builder of the year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore volunteer’s efforts an exercise in adventurous pursuits

Don Devenney is the 2021 recipient of the Community Builder Award

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read