A new report examines the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of Canadians

Dr. Gordon Asmundson (Department of Psychology) is a member of the Royal Society of Canada Task Force on COVID-19 and co-author of an important policy brief just released: Easing the Disruption of COVID-19: Supporting the Mental Health of the People of Canada.

Established in April 2020 in response to the global pandemic, the mandate of the RSC Task Force on COVID-19 is to provide evidence-based perspectives on the major societal challenges in response to and recovery from COVID-19.

From the Report:

"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on mental health of people in Canada but the impact has been variable, impacting those facing pre-existing structural inequities hardest. Those living in poverty, and in some socially stratified groups facing greater economic and social disadvantage, such as some racialized, and some Indigenous groups and those with preexisting mental health problems, have suffered the most. Some occupational groups have been more exposed to the virus and to psychological stress with the pandemic. The mental health care system was already overextended and under resourced. The pandemic has exacerbated the problems. The care system responded by a massive move to virtual care. The future challenge is for Canada to strengthen our knowledge base in mental health, to learn from the pandemic and provide all in Canada the support they need to fully participate in and contribute to Canada’s recovery from the pandemic."

The report also makes specific recommendations to meet the challenges brought to the fore by the global pandemic in order to improve the mental health and well-being of Canadians.

The report, Easing the Disruption of COVID-19, is available via the Royal Society of Canada website.