December 4, 2023

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Study shows decline in Canadians’ mental health during holidays

A study by digital health platform Felix is highlighting mental health challenges Canadians are facing during the holidays.

The report, released last month, found that one in four residents say their mental health declines during this period, as many experience a mixed bag of emotions.

Felix’s medical director Dr. Kelly Anderson says the holidays are “a time where everything gets flipped upside down.”

“We’re travelling, we’re not eating the things we usually eat, it’s darker than usual.”

Anderson adds that some may feel lonely and isolated.

Read more:

Stress, loneliness magnified during the holidays: mental health experts

The study also revealed that depression and anxiety were the most commonly faced mental health issues, impacting 39 per cent of Canadians. Furthermore, nearly 60 per cent of respondents said they would go to therapy or go more often if it were more affordable.

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Olabiyi Dipeolu has recognized the need and inequity when it comes to accessing services, which is why he created It’s a website selling merchandise to raise money for mental health initiatives and charities. The platform also provides free mental health resources for its users.

“Because of the history of Canada, certain groups are marginalized and don’t have access, whether it’s through the workplace or through different organizations,” Dipeolu says.

Anderson says when it comes to managing your mental health challenges this season, it’s best to stick to the basics. Some of her top tips include:

  1. Look after your physical health by getting good sleep, exercising regularly and eating healthy.
  2. Be mindful of your social media consumption.
  3. Consider reaching out to a friend or family member.

She says to try and meet people “face to face.”

“That kind of connection, even if it’s short, can be really helpful.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

Crisis Services Canada’s toll-free helpline provides 24-7 support at 1-833-456-4566.

Kids Help Phone operates a toll-free helpline at 1-800-668-6868 with 24-7 support for young people as well as the Crisis Text Line, which can be reached by texting HOME to 686868.

The toll-free Hope for Wellness helpline provides 24-7 support for Indigenous Peoples at 1-855-242-3310. Online chat services are also available.

Trans Lifeline operates a toll-free peer support hotline for trans and questioning people at 1-877-330-6366.

For a directory of support services in your area, visit the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention at

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