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The Current State of Women’s Mental Health in Canada

New survey shows Canadian women, especially women from marginalized and/or racialized groups, aren’t spending enough time on their mental health.

It’s no secret women were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. From job loss to demands in the home, their mental health took a tremendous toll. Beyond the intensified gender inequalities, women of marginalized and racialized groups were disproportionately impacted, which could have long term and far-reaching consequences. Three years later, things still haven’t improved.

A recent study by GreenShield, revealed that women think they should spend one hour a day on their mental health, yet spend only half. In fact, they spend nearly seven times more taking care of others and on household chores. The limited time for self-care is heightened among women who identify as part of a marginalized and racialized group, who spend 31 per cent less time on self-care activities than their peers.

The unique challenges facing women

  • Women who immigrated to Canada spend 31 per cent less time on self-care activities and 15 per cent less time on their mental health than women who were born in Canada. Additionally, women who immigrated to Canada believe that the appropriate amount of time for people to spend on their mental health is 35 per cent less than what women born in Canada believe.
  • Mothers spend 44 per cent more time taking care of others and doing household chores and spend 21 per cent less time on their mental health than women in general.
  • Women with an annual income lower than $35,000 spend 23 per cent less time on their mental health than women who earn more.
  • Women in the LGBTQ2S+ community are more conscious of mental health, spending 11 per cent more time on their mental health than women overall.
  • Women in Atlantic Canada reported spending 21 per cent less time on their mental health than women in other regions. 

Women surveyed agree they need to focus more on their mental health but there are varying and unique barriers that come with accessing support and resources. Which is why GreenShield Cares’ Women’s Mental Health program is offering complimentary mental health services including two free hours of talk therapy sessions, a one-year subscription to online coach-assisted therapy (iCBT), and access to a wellness hub ensuring women can find the support that’s right for them.

While this program supports all 18+ Canadians who identify as women, it was specifically designed to support women from marginalized or racialized groups, who are underserved due to mental health treatment gaps. The program’s personalized counselling matching tool includes over 50 matching options, including culture, race, language, and religion, to ensure women can find a mental health professional who shares and/or can relate to their identity and lived experiences. Intersectionality is at the forefront of the matching process, and the diversity of Canadians is reflected in the diversity of the program’s certified practitioners, with hundreds of the program’s certified practitioners have identified as a person of colour, Indigenous, or Black.

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