Top doctor expresses concern over Canadians’ mental health amid coronavirus

1 year ago 68
google news Flipboard

Canada’s top health officer on Sunday expressed concern over higher consumption of alcohol and junk food during the coronavirus epidemic, suggesting this could be a sign of worsening mental health.

The total number of Canadians killed by the coronavirus edged up by 0.9 per cent to 7,773 from 7,703 on Saturday, the public health agency said, further evidence that the worst of the pandemic has passed. The total number of cases rose to 95,057 from 94,335.

Canada’s 10 provinces are all gradually reopening their economies and relaxing restrictions on social gatherings. Unemployment though has soared to record levels amid widespread shutdowns and market analysts say it could take years for the economy to recover.

2:05 New mental health program helps first responders across Ontario

New mental health program helps first responders across Ontario

“I am concerned about Canadians’ mental health … more Canadians have increased their consumption of alcohol and junk food or sweets since the beginning of the pandemic,” chief public health officer Theresa Tam said in a statement.

Story continues below advertisement

1/4 #COVID19 key concerns in 🇨🇦: Today, in lieu of a daily in-person update to the media, I have issued a Sunday statement you can read in full here:

— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) June 7, 2020

Tam, citing the results of a recent Statistics Canada survey about the effects of the pandemic, said Canadians needed to make mental health a priority.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

READ MORE: Can I go to the beach or someone’s backyard? Here’s how risky summer activities are

“While social interactions and activities might look different right now, Canadians should be actively looking for safe ways to socialize, engage in physical activity and make … healthy food choices,” she said.

Almost 20 per cent of respondents in the Statscan survey reported symptoms consistent with moderate or severe anxiety.

Story continues below advertisement

Last month, Statscan said factory sales of beverages and tobacco rose by 6.7 per cent in March from February on higher demand for beer, wine and soft drinks. Food sales increased by 8.2 per cent.

2:35 More Canadians are dying of overdoses during virus crisis

More Canadians are dying of overdoses during virus crisis View link »
  1. Homepage
  2. Health