Monday, September 23, 2013

Perceived need for mental health care in Canada: Results from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey–Mental Health (September 2013)




By Adam Sunderland and Leanne C. Findlay

From this webpage:
Background

Past research and national survey data on Canadians’ perceived need for mental health care (MHC) have focused on unmet needs overall, and have not considered specific types of MHC needs or the extent to which needs are met.
Data and methods

Using data from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey–Mental Health, this article describes the prevalence of perceived MHC needs for information, medication, counselling and other services. The degree to which each type of need was met is explored. Associations between risk factors for having MHC needs and the extent to which needs were met are investigated.
Results

In 2012, an estimated 17% of the population aged 15 or older reported having had an MHC need in the past 12 months. Two-thirds (67%) reported that their need was met; for another 21%, the need was partially met; and for 12%, the need was unmet. The most commonly reported need was for counselling, which was also the least likely to be met. Distress was identified as a predictor of perceived MHC need status.
Interpretation

Many Canadians are estimated to have MHC needs, particularly for counselling. People with elevated levels of distress are significantly more likely to have unmet and partially met MHC needs than to have fully met MHC needs, regardless of the presence of mental or substance disorders.
Keywords

Mental illness, mental disorder, distress
Findings

Many Canadians experience a need for mental health care (MHC), but not all of those needs are met. In fact, the presence of mental illness has repeatedly been associated with an MHC need, despite evidence-based practices suggesting that mental illness can be successfully treated. Rates of unmet needs were higher among people with the criteria for mental illness, especially those with depression. This is relevant considering that, in 2012, an estimated 10% of Canadians experienced a mental disorder (depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or alcohol, cannabis or substance abuse or dependence) in the past year. [Full Text]
Authors

Adam Sunderland and Leanne C. Findlay (1-613-951-4648; leanne.findlay@statcan.gc.ca) are with the Health Analysis Division at Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6.
What is already known on this subject?

Many Canadians experience a need for mental health care (MHC), but not all of those needs are met.
Past research and national survey data on Canadians’ perceived need for MHC have focused on unmet need overall, and have not considered specific types of MHC needs or the extent to which needs are met.

What does this study add?

Based on data from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey–Mental Health, an estimated 17% of the population aged 15 or older reported having had an MHC need in the past 12 months.
Two-thirds (67%) of them reported that the needs were met; for another 21%, the needs were partially met; and for 12%, the needs were unmet.
The most commonly reported need was for counselling, which was also the least likely to be met.
Distress was associated with perceived MHC need status.
To download the entire article (PDF), please click here.

Also see:

Mental and substance use disorders in Canada (September 2013) (PDF)

Mental Health Profile, Canadian Community Health Survey - Mental Health (CCHS), by age group and sex, Canada and provinces (2013)

Response to the release of Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health 2012 by the Mental Health Commission of Canada

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