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Friends, family or professional support: How we're dealing with mental health amid coronavirus

Last Updated Jun 1, 2020 at 9:52 am EDT

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Summary

Most people are reaching out to friends and family to manage their mental health amid the pandemic, Sun Life finds


Sun Life survey shows women more likely to seek support, help, than men


Age is also a factor when it comes to who has been reaching out for support


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As many of us continue to deal with mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears not everyone is getting professional help.

According to a new survey from Sun Life, most people are reaching out to friends and family to manage their mental health.

“We found that half of Canadians have been negatively impacted from a mental health perspective, and only about 42 per cent are seeking treatment or support,” Marie-Chantal Côté, Vice-President of Market Development with Sun Life Group Benefits, explains, adding some people are more likely to get help than others.

“Forty-five per cent, approximately, of women will seek treatment or support, and only about 38 per cent of men.”

She says age is also a factor when it comes to who has been reaching out for support, with younger Canadians more likely to use self-help resources than medical advice or treatment.

It was the opposite for people 55 years and older, Côté tells NEWS 1130.

With less than half of Canadians who identify as dealing with mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic actually seeking help, Sun Life highlights the importance of understanding when to look for professional support.

It’s also important to watch out for some warning signs, Côté says.

“For example, feeling sad, angry, not ourselves, not our usual eating or sleeping patterns, withdrawn from family and friends,” she explains. “But most of them have to do with feeling differently or doing things differently than we normally would.”

While Côté says talking with friends or family can be very therapeutic, she notes sometimes more help may be needed.

There are various steps you can take, but Côté adds the first step is often making a call and taking action.