Women's mental health disproportionally affected by COVID-19 pandemic: study
KITCHENER -- Women are disproportionally affected by the isolation and limited social contact due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study.
"There's definitely been a disproportionate effect on women," said Karen Spencer with Family and Children's Services of Waterloo Region.
The homicides of two young children in Waterloo Region has shown a light on mental health during the pandemic.
A report by Morneau Shepell showed more women are concerned about their mental health during the pandemic. More than two-thirds of the jobs lost in Canada due to COVID-19 were held by women.
"We know there are significant job losses in the community and women are the highest incidences of people who have lost their positions," said Meredith Gardiner with Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington.
Many women are juggling working from home with household demands.
"Stress is usually a function of two factors -- the intensity of the demands placed on us, as well as our control over those demands," said Hilary Bergsieker, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Waterloo. "A big part of what's tough during the pandemic is the lack of control."
Gardiner said more women are accessing services at the Canadian Mental Health Association since the pandemic began.
"The financial strain, just that balance and juggle, has just become much more difficult," she said.
The population has been in isolation for months, bringing with it the risk for more violence.
"If children that you know in your circle are acting withdrawn, are afraid, if they have injuries that you're worried about, certainly that's a sign," Spencer said.
"Part of the theorizing of why incidents like these area happening is because there are fewer support systems in place," Bergsieker said.
Here are some resources available in the region:
- Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington
- Region of Waterloo Health and Wellness
- Family and Children's Services of the Waterloo Region
If you or someone you know is in crisis, here are some resources that are available.
Crisis Services Canada (1-833-456-4566 or text 45645) or Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.
If you need immediate assistance call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.