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Research shows higher risk of depression and anxiety among young, gay or bisexual, or racialized men

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May 30, 2024
By Talent Canada

New research from the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) is raising the alarm bells when it comes to the state of men’s mental health in Canada.

The study, conducted by Intensions Consulting, surveyed 2,070 Canadian men aged 19 or older. Key results show a concerning trend in specific groups of men:

The risk of moderate to severe depression is significantly higher in men aged 19 to 29 (43 per cent), racialized men (30 per cent) and gay or bisexual men (28 per cent) compared to the broader male population (18 per cent).

Moderate to high anxiety is significantly higher in men aged 19 to 29 (57 per cent), gay or bisexual men (45 per cent), and racialized men (42 per cent) compared to the broader male population (30 per cent).


“These statistics cannot be ignored. Anxiety and depression are affecting certain populations of men significantly more than others,” said Dr. David Kuhl, a men’s health clinician and researcher. “Calling attention to how pervasive mental health challenges are within these populations is the first step towards changing behaviours. Mental health doesn’t belong to the individual, it belongs to families and communities.”

CMHF is committed to supporting the most affected populations with programs that improve mental health outcomes, including the MindFit Toolkit. The free, online resource connects men and their families to self-assessment tools, virtual counselling, and expert advice to help manage stress, anxiety and depression.

“The research points to the continued, urgent need for action by all of us to reach out and support young men and those in racialized and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities,” said Kenton Boston, CMHF president and CEO. “The Foundation and its partners are working to educate and advocate for men and their families and ensure there are no barriers to being able to live healthy, full and productive lives, in all Canadian communities.”

The study was conducted between March 5 and 10, 2024. The sample was stratified to ensure its composition reflected the underlying distribution of the population as determined by 2021 Canadian Census data. The online survey was administered in French and English and used validated mental health measures, including The Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). A traditional probability sample of comparable size would have produced results considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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