Family members and friends help those with mental illness

By The IJ Staff | February 07 2020 12:30PM

Photo: Freepik

A new Statistics Canada report says mental illness was the most common reason for receiving care through a family member, friend or colleague, especially among those aged 15 to 34.

In 2018, receiving care for a mental illness was more common among young men (52%) than young women (48%), according to the report.

Almost 9 in 10 Canadians who reported having a mental illness received care from a family member or friend, most often a parent (72%). This is partly reflective of age: over three-quarters (77%) of those aged 15 to 24 received care from a parent, compared with just over two-thirds (67%) of those aged 25 to 34.

Emotional support, household chores reasons for help

The most common type of care received from a family member or friend was emotional support (83%). This was followed by transportation to run errands, shop or attend medical appointments (65%), help with household chores (57%), house maintenance (51%), and scheduling and coordinating medical appointments (48%).

Receiving professional care for a mental illness was less common for young people, with 1 in 10 young Canadians receiving care from professionals only. The most common types of care received from professionals were emotional support (98%), including therapy or counselling, and medical treatment (24%), such as medication and other medical procedures.

Parents give bulk of help

Among young care receivers, just over three-quarters (76%) stated that, were it not for their primary caregiver—typically their parents—they would have had difficulty finding help from someone else.

Young care receivers were generally satisfied with the balance of care they received from family members or friends, and professionals. Just over one-quarter (26%) of young care receivers reported that they were not satisfied with the balance of help they received. Almost four-fifths (79%) of those who were dissatisfied would have preferred more professional help.

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