Demand for mental health services has surged, pushing some providers to their limits – CBC

Nearly half of respondents to a recent Ontario poll reported worsening mental health

Dec 05, 2022

Mental health providers say demand for their services has surged in the wake of the pandemic, with long wait lists, few affordable options and therapists stretched increasingly thin.

According to a recent poll by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Ontario, a quarter of all people in Ontario were seeking mental health support in February, a huge increase over the nine per cent of respondents who reported seeking help in a similar poll done by the organization two years ago.

Nearly half of respondents in the February poll reported their mental health worsened since the pandemic began and nearly a quarter reported using higher amounts of cannabis, alcohol and tobacco than before the pandemic.

What it doesn’t capture however is how many people were turned away from a provider, either because of a full roster of patients, or the provider was fully booked that day. Many London, Ont., counselling centres and clinics called by CBC News had pre-recorded messages warning new clients of potentially long wait times and delayed responses to their inquiries.

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