Canada Speaks 2012: Mental health, addictions and the roots of poverty

In brief

This report presents the findings of a survey that was done to better understand Canadians’ perceptions about mental illness and addictions.

The survey was conducted online with a group of 1,011 individuals and shows that many Canadians have first- or second-hand experience dealing with issues related to mental health and addictions.

EENet has developed a Research Report Round-up of the report, “Canada Speaks 2012: Mental Health, Addictions and the Roots of Poverty.” Research Report Round-ups are brief summaries of research reports, presented in a user-friendly format.

Read it below or download the PDF.

Title and link to report: Canada Speaks 2012: Mental Health, Addictions and the Roots of Poverty
Author: The Dignity Project – The Salvation Army
Year: 2012
Location: Toronto
Population addressed: People with mental health and addiction issues
Type of study: Survey
Key wordsMental health; addiction; poverty; barriers; challenges

What this report is about

This report presents the findings from a survey that was done to better understand Canadians’ perceptions about mental illness and addictions. The survey was conducted online with a group of 1,011 individuals.

The findings show that many Canadians have first- or second-hand experience dealing with issues related to mental health and addictions.

The key findings include:

  • Four out of five Canadians say they’ve been touched by mental illness and addictions – 80% said they have either a friend or family member who experienced mental illness and/or addiction;
  • Most Canadians recognize the link between mental health and addiction – .71% agree that “a lot of people with addictions have mental health problems;
  • 80% said they believe that mental illness causes many Canadians to experience poverty;
  • 87% believe that the government should make mental illness a higher priority;
  • 82% think there should be more services to help people with addictions;
  • 73% believe there would be far fewer homeless people if there was better care for people with mental health problems.

However, there are many who oppose providing any additional assistance:

  • Almost a quarter of respondents think that Canada spends too much money trying to help people with addictions to alcohol and drugs;
  • 35% feel that if we gave more help to people with addictions, they would just take advantage of it.

Although many people seem to have a positive attitude toward those who live with mental illness and addictions, a significant minority say they don’t have any sympathy for them.

How can this report be used

Researchers and policymakers can use this report to support their efforts to improve services for individuals with mental health and addictions issues.

Contact person/source: Organization: 1-800-725-2769 www.salvationarmy.ca

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