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Albertans growing increasingly anxious over COVID-19, survey finds

Last Updated Oct 1, 2020 at 12:55 pm MDT

File photo of woman wearing face mask during coronavirus outbreak. (Credit: UNSPLASH/Engin Akyurt)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a lot of stress, anxiety and depression for Albertans.

According to a survey by the Health Quality Council of Alberta, more than 70 per cent of people polled experienced some form of mental health impact.

The survey found the top challenges many people faced included maintaining relationships, difficulty sleeping, lack of exercise, and loneliness.

“Three-quarters of Albertans say they’re experiencing difficulty coping with stress, anxiety or depression,” said Charlene McBrien-Morrison with HQCA. “Those challenges give us a little more insight into that.”

The survey showed about 30 per cent of those polled said they put off seeking health care since the pandemic began.

“Once they did get health care, the confidence that the health care workers were going to protect them from COVID was very high, over 80 per cent and in the current environment where we’ve had a few outbreaks I think this is something we want to keep an eye on,” said McBrien-Morrison.

Of that 30 per cent, only 22 per cent said delaying their healthcare affected their health greatly or quite a bit.

McBrien-Morrison added that confidence in the healthcare system could erode further due to outbreaks like that one at Foothills Hospital that has claimed four lives.

RELATEDFoothills Hospital outbreak grows, forces more into isolation

The survey also took track of who Albertans trusted the most with information regarding the coronavirus.

“Dr. Hinshaw came out very high on that trustworthy scale as did Alberta Health Services website for trustworthy sources of information,” said McBrien-Morrison.

The HQCA is preparing another survey for the fall and will add questions on mask bylaws and school reopening.