MONTREAL -- A new survey from the Association for Canadian Studies has found that around one-in-three Americans and Canadians who have been diagnosed with depression rated their mental health as “bad” or “very” bad since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The ACS asked 1,512 Canadian and 1,005 American adults about their mental health first asking if they had been diagnosed with depression and then how it affected their health during the COVID-19 crisis.

Thirty-one per cent of Americans diagnosed with depression said their mental health was “bad” and 6 per cent said “very bad.” In Canada, 24 per cent struggling with depression said their mental health was “bad” during the crisis, and 5 per cent said “very bad.”

The surveyors asked respondents how afraid they were of contracting COVID-19 and those who had been diagnosed with depression were about 10 per cent higher in both countries.

In Canada, 23.3 per cent of those diagnosed with depression said they were “very afraid” of contracting the virus versus 14.9 per cent for those who were not depressed. In the States, 35.5 per cent of those diagnosed as depressed said they were very afraid.

Over half (51 per cent) of Canadians said they were stressed when leaving the house, while 64 per cent of Americans would prefer to stay home whether they suffered from depression or not.


The survey found that depression remains a serious public health issue on both sides of the border.

Nearly one-in-five (19 per cent) of those between 18 and 34 answered yes when asked if they had been diagnosed with depression in Canada.

Manitoba, at 22 per cent, was the highest rate of depression, while Quebec (eight per cent) was the lowest.

In the US, nearly one-in-four (24 per cent) of women said yes to the question.

Another survey from the ACS done in conjunction with the Douglas Foundation found almost half of Canadians said they had mild (24 per cent) to moderate-severe (23 per cent) depressive symptoms without being diagnosed as depressed.

In both countries, the survey found the lower the income, the higher the rate of depression. In Canada, 21 per cent who earned below $41,000 said they were diagnosed depressed, while in the US, 27 per cent of those with a wage below $35,000 per year said the same thing.