WINNIPEG - It’s not just about physical health. Two new polls are revealing just how much the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the financial and mental wellness of Manitobans.
A study by the not-for-profit Angus Reid Institute found 38 per cent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan respondents said their mental health had gotten worse since the beginning of COVID-19 due to their financial situation. Forty-four per cent of participants said trying to keep up with household expenses negatively impacted their mental health, while around a third said job insecurity around issues such as layoffs or reduced hours had negatively impacted their mental health.
A third said trying to keep up with consumer debt payments like credit card bills and loans had the same effect, while 40 per cent of parents polled in Manitoba and Saskatchewan say they’re worried about how their financial situation is impacting the mental health of their children.
The study, called The Social Determinants of Mental Health, involved 1,510 Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum, and was conducted on behalf of Credit Counselling Canada.
Another recent poll from Manitoba-founded insolvency trustee firm MNP Ltd. suggests that financial stress could end up getting worse even as the pandemic subsides. Their latest consumer debt index, based on data submitted by 2,001 Canadians, found that many Canadians are contemplating borrowing even more to cover their expenses, putting them deeper into debt. 58 per cent of those surveyed said they were at least somewhat likely to borrow more by the end of the year.
Credit Counselling Canada says anyone dealing with financial or mental stress as a result of the pandemic should seek help from someone who can empathize and help them come up with a plan.