Mental Health Week – A new statistical portrait of the mental health of Quebecers

Montréal, May 6, 2015 – On the occasion of Mental Health Week, the Institut de la statistique du Québec is releasing its publication entitled Portrait statistique de la santé mentale des Québécois. It addresses about 30 different aspects of mental health, including optimal mental health, “poorer mental health,” certain mental disorders, and the use of aid resources.

Depressive episodes are the most frequent mental disorder

Among the mental disorders measured in 2012, depressive episodes were the most often reported disorder. Indeed, 12% of Quebecers aged 15 and over have experienced a depressive episode during their lifetime. Women (15%) were more likely to be affected than men (9%).

As for men, they are more likely to experience alcohol abuse or dependence problems: 1 out of 5 men (20%) will be affected in their lifetime, compared with about 7% of women.

Psychological distress affects a large number of persons 15 to 24 years of age. In fact, 28% of them present a high level of psychological distress, a considerably higher rate than in other age groups.

What is stressing Quebecers?

Asked about the main sources of stress in their daily lives, a third of Quebecers responded that their principal activity, either work or studies, was the main culprit. Financial problems were the second largest source of stress (14%). Among women, concerns about the health of family members were also a significant source of stress (12%).

Having good mental health

The publication also focuses on a series of measures aiming to document positive mental health, for example considering one’s mental health as excellent or very good, being very satisfied or satisfied with one’s life, or considering one’s ability to handle the day-to-day demands of life as excellent or very good. This information can be useful for developing programs to promote mental health and prevent mental disorders, by targeting subgroups of people who may be more vulnerable.

Long-awaited figures

In the field of mental health, the lack of specific measures to ensure follow-up and support the continuous improvement of care and services is regularly pointed out. This statistical portrait of mental health provides an overview of the most up-to-date information collected through a survey of the Québec population aged 15 and over.

The results presented in the Portrait statistique de la santé mentale des Québécois come from the Canadian Community Health Survey – Mental Health conducted in 2012 by Statistics Canada.

The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyses and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is the statistical coordinator for Québec and the relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.


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