You're not alone
New survey shows that British Columbians are not getting mental health support despite many claiming their mental health has declined since the pandemic began.
Health care leaders have been warning of an impending global mental health crisis, in part, due to COVID-19—and BC is not immune from this.
To gauge how the pandemic has been impacting British Columbians, we commissioned a survey of over one thousand adults across the province. It shows that a significant number of us have experienced mental health challenges since the pandemic began—yet a majority haven’t engaged professional help for three key reasons:
- We don’t know where to get help (even in our own communities)
- We find it difficult to access mental health services
- We don’t feel safe in acknowledging we have a mental health condition
Specifically, we learned that 52% of British Columbians currently have fair to poor mental health vs. 19% pre-COVID-19 and two thirds (37%) said they expect their mental health will decline if the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen in the fall and winter.
Additionally, half of the survey respondents believe that it’s difficult to access mental health services, and two thirds said they are unaware of in-person/phone based/online counselling services in their communities.
As BC is now experiencing its second phase of the pandemic, the data paints a clear and worrying picture and signifies an imminent threat of a “twindemic”—both a COVID-19 and mental health crisis.
If you need help, you’re not alone
If you or your dependents are experiencing mental health issues because of the pandemic, you’re in good company. As you can see by the survey results, many of us are.
Don’t be afraid to reach out. As BC's health benefits society, we’re doing our best to augment the mental health supports that are eligible for coverage under our benefits plans. We encourage you to log into your Member Profile to find out your benefits and coverage levels.
$100,000 donation to frontline mental health care
The Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation made a $100,000 donation to crisis lines across BC—in both urban and rural communities—in an attempt to bolster already taxed services and address the mental health support needs in our province.
Crisis lines rarely get the attention they deserve despite providing an essential frontline service to British Columbians at every day of the year at any hour, supporting people experiencing a mental health crisis. They are a community “safety net”—a safe and anonymous way of accessing support for depression and anxiety, relationship issues, loneliness, and substance use issues.
BC crisis lines also provide support through their 1800Suicide line for those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviours, helping people avoid seeking acute care because of the compassionate services they offer.