A study from the Toronto Foundation has reported that Toronto has seen a large uptick in stress, depression, and isolation.
The 19th biennial edition of Toronto’s Vital Signs Report titled “The Power of Us” noted that over 50 per cent of Torontonians were stressed about their income as well as their family’s, while a third of them didn’t believe they made enough money in a year to consider themselves stable.
Adding to monetary stress, 22 per cent said they ate less than they should have because of their low income.
In addition to believing they don’t make enough money, 42 per cent of the city’s residents feel burnt out some of the time while 22 per cent feel that way most or all of the time.
Related to the burnt-out feeling, many experienced loneliness often. 37 per cent felt lonely at least three days a week, while 8 per cent said they don’t have any close friends or relatives.
In comparison, 28 per cent of Calgarians felt lonely at least three times a week, while 23 per cent of Vancouver residents and 17 per cent of Montrealers said the same.
“Some people are choosing to leave; too many young people don’t feel they have a future here,” Sharon Avery, President and CEO of the Toronto Foundation, said. “Yes, this is another dire long list, yet with a common thread: all of this is connected to the long-standing downward trends in civic engagement. People are simply not as involved in community life as they once were.”
Loneliness in children also saw a rise, a problem that existed prior to the pandemic but was exacerbated after 2020. 44 per cent of students experienced loneliness in 2021 which was almost double the amount it was five years prior.
38 per cent of teenaged students in Ontario said they reported fair or poor mental health, a 9 per cent increase from 2019.
In an effort to combat loneliness, depression, and anxiety, the Toronto Foundation partnered with Volunteer Toronto to give micro-grants to help bolster local initiatives within various communities.