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COVID-19: Finances impacting mental health in the Prairies, national study reveals

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The pandemic continues to leave many in the prairies with financial and mental stress, according to a national study. Taz Dhaliwal has more on the findings of the study and exactly how much strain people are feeling. – Oct 16, 2021

From housing to job insecurity, the pandemic has left many in the Prairies with financial stresses, according to a national study.

Credit Counselling Canada, a not-for-profit agency, conducted a study called The Social Determinants of Mental Health, which revealed that four in 10 residents from Saskatchewan and Manitoba suffer with financial and mental health challenges due to the pandemic.

Read more: Children hit hard by COVID-19 need mental health support, UN report warns

According to the study, 38 per cent of residents in the prairie provinces disclosed their mental health had a huge impact resulting from their financial situation. Residents have been negatively impacted by job insecurity, housing insecurity, household expenses and consumer debt payments.

“Additionally, the study reveals that 40 per cent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan parents are concerned about the impact the family’s financial situation has on their child’s mental health,” according to the study.

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“And 69 per cent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan parents have been taking action to shield their children from any financial or mental stresses due to the pandemic.”

The rising costs of living, housing and consumer debt can be overwhelming for families, especially during the pandemic. The interim CEO for Credit Counselling Canada said they looked at the social determinants of health in the national study.

Read more: New report warns of increasing mental health issues and limited resources

“What we found were residents in Saskatchewan and Manitoba were definitely experiencing some stress and some impact on their mental health,” said Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy.

“A portion of the population have actually had job insecurity, have had more debt, and if your income has been impacted by that, then you’re worried about how to pay your bills and how to pay off your debt.

“That increases stress, which impacts mental health.”

Credit Counselling Canada urges those experiencing mental health and financial stresses due to the pandemic not to overwhelm themselves overthinking these challenges and book a visit with them for a free consultation.

“The help is free, confidential and people walk away compassion, empathy and a plan,” said Yanchuk Oleksy. “At the first sign of stress, I encourage people to reach out.  Whether it’s mental  health, finances or both. Our local non-profit credit counsellers are happy to help.”

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For more information on the study or for help, go to www.creditcounsellingcanada.ca.

Click to play video: 'New report warns of increasing mental health issues and limited resources' New report warns of increasing mental health issues and limited resources
New report warns of increasing mental health issues and limited resources – Oct 13, 2021

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