Examining Subjective Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Canada
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The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis. The viral outbreak may trigger long term lasting consequences on mental health status and well-being of citizens. This pandemic also presents an opportunity to identify the most vulnerable subgroups and improve the quality of mental health services delivered, while increasing coverage of vulnerable populations by expanding to innovative platforms. This study aims to examine the vulnerable groups at higher risk of showing symptoms of mental health illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, its impacts on risky health behaviors in the Canadian population, as well as its relationship with economic concerns indicators. A unit increase in the individuals who have financial impact concerns is associated with a decrease of one fifth of the standard deviation of the Self Perceived Mental Health (SPMH) score, and a decrease one half of the standard deviation of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) score. My results also suggest that youth, women, and those currently absent from work are among the most vulnerable subgroups. On average, women are reportedly associated with a decrease of one fourth of a standard deviation on the SPMH score and a decrease of one fourth of a standard deviation on the GAD score. Rates of frequency of risky health behaviors have also risen steadily, with those showing increased frequencies in alcohol consumption were associated with 3.1% more likely to report poor mental health status, and 6.5% fair mental health. In addition, a unit increase in the alcohol consumption respondents is 7.9% less likely to report excellent mental health status. providing evidence for government interventions to prevail such behaviors on targeted vulnerable cohorts.