Research evidence suggests that the prevalence of mental health conditions in Canada has increased while a considerable percentage of people with a mental health issue do not seek professional mental health services. Weighted logistic regression models were used to determine whether age, sex, income, and education predict the self-reported mental health status of Canadians and their odds of utilizing mental health services. This study found clear disparities in reporting mental health and utilization of mental health services. Young adults (aged 25 to 44) have 1.4 times (95% CI: 1.3 to 1.6 times) higher odds of reporting poorer mental health status than seniors (aged 65 or older). Females are 2.7 times (95% CI: 2.3 to 3.1 times) more likely to utilize mental services than males. The lowest income group (<$15,000) has 2.2 times (95% CI: 1.9 to 2.4 times) higher odds of rating poorer mental health status than the highest income group (>$80,000). The least educated group (<high school education) has 1.5 times (95% CI: 1.3 to 1.6 times) higher odds of reporting poorer mental health status than the highest educated group (post-secondary education). However, the highest educated group is 1.6 times (95% CI: 1.3 to 2.0 times) more likely to utilize mental health services than the least educated group. Even in a country that has a universal health insurance system such as Canada, disparities and inequities associated with mental health burden and health care utilization persist, specifically among groups with lower education, lower income, and males.

Bruce McDonald, Madhura Kulkarni, Mustafa Andkhoie, Jeffrey Kendall, Spencer Gall, Shankar Chelladurai, Mohsen Yaghoubi, Stephanie McClean, Michael Szafron & Marwa Farag

International Journal of Mental Health, Volume 46, 2017 – Issue 4

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Determinants of self-reported mental health and utilization of mental health services in Canada [2017]