New poll reveals alarming trends in young women’s mental health

“This age group consists of women who are finishing school, building careers and potentially having children for the first time. When you add the social isolation and difficulties accessing support services over the past few years of the pandemic, it’s made young women more vulnerable to loneliness and stress. Women are also more likely to have been on the front lines of the pandemic in health care, essential services and in caregiving roles,” Sur said.

Young adults are more inclined than older ones to report obstacles to receiving mental health treatment, such as lengthy wait lists, high costs, or not knowing where to start looking for assistance. Also, people have a greater tendency to report that their mental health has deteriorated recently or that they have gone through a mental health crisis that need immediate medical attention.

About one-quarter of Ontarians, or 24%, have received a diagnosis for a mental health illness, and another 21% think they may have an undiscovered condition, according to the overall findings of the poll. One-fourth of those polled, or 25%, reported that their mental health had gotten worse in the previous 12 months.

Most respondents to the survey, or 60% of them, expressed frustration with their attempts to access mental health resources. 73% of women in the 18–34 age group said their experience was annoying or extremely irritating, which was a larger percentage than the general population.

“This poll should serve as a wake-up call,” said Sur. “Getting help is not always as easy as phoning up a mental health professional. We need to meet people where they’re at and intervene early when they first experience mental health challenges. That means adding more social workers in schools, hospitals, primary health care, long-term care homes and community care. We need more government funding to do that.”

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