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Canadian Community Health Survey, 2020

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Released: 2021-09-08

A new study released today shows that in the fall of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued, slightly fewer Canadians aged 12 and older (63.9%) reported their mental health as being excellent or very good than in the fall of 2019, when two-thirds (65.8%) of Canadians had reported positive mental health. A slight increase in the proportion of Canadians who reported their mental health as fair or poor was also observed between the two reference periods, rising from 8.9% in the fall of 2019 to 10.5% in the fall of 2020. In the fall of 2020, a lower proportion of young adults aged 18 to 34 reported positive mental health (57.5%) compared with other age groups. This proportion was not significantly different from the fall of 2019.

The study "Self-perceived mental health and mental health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic" assesses the impact of COVID-19 on mental health across Canada and different populations including Indigenous peoples, immigrants, visible minority groups, and LGBTQ2+ Canadians. This article looks at the need for mental health care in Canadians during the fall of 2020, six to nine months after the World Health Organization declared the pandemic, as well as some of the barriers that prevented people's mental health needs from being fully met.

According to the study, fewer women (59.9%) than men (68.1%) reported positive mental health during fall 2020. In addition, a lower proportion of women reported positive mental health in the fall of 2020 than in the fall of 2019 (59.9% vs. 63.0% respectively). The positive mental health of Canadian men remained stable between fall 2019 and fall 2020 (68.7% vs. 68.1%).

In 2020, the proportion of Canadians aged 50 to 64 who reported positive mental health declined between fall 2019 and fall 2020, while for other age groups, it was not statistically different.

Moreover, 4 in 10 Canadians (39.9%) who are part of the LGBTQ2+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit, or persons reporting another non-binary gender or minority sexual identity) reported positive mental health in fall 2020. In contrast, the proportion of Canadians who are not part of this community and who reported positive mental health was much higher (64.6%).

For a deeper analysis of self-perceived mental health and perceived needs for mental health care in fall 2020, refer to the StatCan COVID-19: Data to Insights for a Better Canada article.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, changes were made to the collection mode for the Canadian Community Health Survey, and the collection periods were shortened. To better understand how these changes impact the data, an additional data verification was completed (see Note to readers).

  Note to readers

Please see the StatCan COVID-19: Data to Insights for a Better Canada series article "Self-perceived mental health and mental health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic," released today, for additional information.

Although data for 2019 and 2020 are from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), the 2020 cycle of the survey had some differences. In March 2020, the CCHS collection was paused and did not resume until September 2020, when the collection periods were reduced from three-month periods to five-week periods. In-person interviews were halted, and collection was only completed via telephone interview, which affected the number of cases collected.

As in previous CCHS cycles, for the 2020 data, survey weights were adjusted to minimize any potential bias that could arise from survey non-response. Non-response adjustments and calibration using available auxiliary information were applied and are reflected in the survey weights provided with the data file. Extensive validations of survey estimates were also performed and examined from a bias analysis perspective. Despite these rigorous adjustments and validations, the higher non-response increases the risk of a remaining bias and increasing the magnitude with which such bias could affect the estimates produced using survey data. See the article in the StatCan COVID-19: Data to Insights for a Better Canada series for additional information.

For more information on survey definitions and methods, refer to the Statistics Canada survey information page Canadian Community Health Survey.


The study "Self-perceived mental health and mental health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic" is now available as part of the series StatCan COVID-19: Data to Insights for a Better Canada (Catalogue number45280001).

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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