The latest from the New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training

Update: Survey Results on Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19

Author: NB-IRDT Staff

Posted on Aug 11, 2021

Category: Health


Pollara Strategic Insights and Mental Health Research Canada are conducting a series of 13 nationwide surveys to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of Canadians. At NB-IRDT, we are focusing on how New Brunswickers responded. Previously, NB-IRDT reported on the results of Survey 2 (conducted in August 2020). We present here the results from Survey 6 (conducted in April 2021), with the goal of updating key findings and describing new responses. In this poll, for instance, 501 new respondents over age 18 are included in the sample. Our analysis focuses on the impacts on mental health, changes in frequency of consumption of alcohol and cannabis, and attitudes towards vaccination.


In this update, the top three factors positively affecting the mental health of New Brunswickers were:

  • Going outside (45%)
  • Recreational reading (35%)
  • Entertainment (23%)

The top three factors negatively affecting the mental health of New Brunswickers were:

  • The possibility of a family member catching COVID-19 (46%)
  • Daily news (46%)
  • Social isolation (45%)

We found that more people reported a decrease in alcohol consumption than an increase (14% and 12%, respectively), while the opposite was true for cannabis consumption (9% increase and <5% decrease).

New questions in Survey 6 showed that in the past 12 months, 14% of New Brunswickers had thoughts of suicide and <5% had made plans for suicide. Additionally, attitudes towards the vaccine showed that half of all New Brunswickers polled were excited to get vaccinated ASAP (50%), while others were cautious (33%) or would not receive it at all (12%).

The survey population was divided into sub-groups to compare differences within groups. We found that females, younger people (18-39 years old), and individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions tended to be more strongly impacted by the top factors both positively and negatively affecting mental health. Since the release of the first report on Survey 2, there was an increased negative impact on mental health primarily due to social isolation, the possibility of a family member catching COVID-19, and daily news. However, recreational reading had an increased positive impact on mental health.

What's next

As the COVID-19 and mental health survey series continues, similar NB-IRDT reports will follow, with the next round of results expected in the Fall of 2021.

French slides   |   English slides



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