Nova Scotia’s Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is alerting the public to the threat coronavirus poses to those already suffering from mental health issues.
According to the CMHA, the pandemic is a “tipping point” for mental health, as evidenced by a quadrupling of people accessing treatment services, taxing an already strained system.
“We are hearing from people unable to secure timely treatment. Many people who had the ability to access online supports [increased by the provincial government during this period] feel that the online support isn’t giving them the care they need,” said CMHA Nova Scotia executive director Pamela Magee.
“We are hearing this as well from those who are contemplating suicide and have lost hope. They feel there isn’t a door they can walk through to receive timely and adequate care.”
A poll conducted by the CMHA and the University of British Columbia revealed that 40% of Canadians feel that their mental health has worsened over the course of the pandemic.
Magee testified before Nova Scotia’s legislative committee on community services on Tuesday, asking legislators for help to handle the situation.
Furthermore, in Nova Scotia, the number of people struggling with suicidal thoughts rose to 4% this year, nearly doubling from 2.4%.
CMHA officials and mental health advocates called on the provincial government to increase the amount of resources dedicated towards mental health services.