Mental health issues on the rise in Ontario

Nearly 430,000 adults in Ontario have bouts of suicidal thoughts

Mental health issues on the rise in Ontario

More adults in Ontario are reporting they struggle with mental health issues, a trend that signals mental distress is a growing concern for the province.

Self-rated cases of fair or poor mental health among the demographic rose from 7.1% to 10.1% between 2016 and 2017, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

The upward trend, CAMH said, was more evident among women.

Other findings of the CAMH Monitor survey indicate nearly 430,000 adults are estimated to have bouts of suicidal thoughts. The figure almost doubled within a year, the report said.

“These findings are concerning,” said Dr. Hayley Hamilton, the study’s co-principal investigator. “It is notable to see such a broad-based increase in reports of poor mental health.”

Dr. Hamilton, who also serves as senior scientist at CAMH’s Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, said there is a need to “improve resilience among adults and reduce the burden of mental illness on individuals and families.”

Dr. Juveria Zaheer, a clinician scientist at the Institute, believes the reasons that prompt suicidal thoughts can be “complex and unique to each individual, so it is difficult to pinpoint specific causes for this increase.”

“It is important to remember people thinking about suicide are experiencing significant distress and deserve support and treatment,” Dr. Zaheer said.

“The vast majority of people who experience suicidal thoughts do not die by suicide and there is hope for recovery.”

If you or someone you know is dealing with thoughts of suicide, please reach out to Crisis Services Canada at (833) 456-4566 or visit


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