Nearly one-third of Canadians (28.8 percent) are reporting moderate to severe anxiety about returning to pre-pandemic routines, according to the latest in an ongoing series of CAMH surveys of Canadians’ pandemic health and substance use. Anxiety about returning to pre-pandemic routines was highest among people aged 18 to 39 (38.4 percent) and those with children under 18 living at home (35.7 percent).

The survey also found that overall self-reports of anxiety, feeling depressed, and binge drinking remain as high as they were last summer before any COVID-19 vaccines had been approved or rolled out. Results are based on responses from 1,001 English-speaking Canadians ages 18 and older via an online survey of the Asking Canadians web panel, reflecting a distribution of age, gender, and region.

Other key findings include:

  • Overall, 19 per cent of participants in the survey reported moderate to severe anxiety, virtually the same number as last summer (19.2 per cent). As in previous surveys, people over age 60 reported the lowest levels of anxiety (8.5 per cent) and people aged 18 to 39 reported the highest (25.2 per cent).
  • 18.6 per cent of respondents reported feeling depressed occasionally or most of the time in the 7 days before the survey was conducted, also virtually unchanged from last summer (18.7 per cent).
  • 26.5 per cent of respondents reported heavy episodic drinking in the previous week, which has been fairly consistent since last summer.
  • The one area where there was a statistically significant change was in reports of loneliness, which went down from 23 per cent in summer 2020 to 18.8 per cent in summer 2021.  People over 60 were the least likely to report feeling lonely. People with children under 18 in the household were more likely to report feeling lonely in the previous week (23.8 per cent) as compared to those without children (17.2 per cent).

An interactive dashboard highlighting findings from each of the eight ongoing surveys can be viewed on CAMH’s website at That page also provides a link to access and download for free the full survey data courtesy of the Methodify by Delvinia platform.

Published By: CAMH in partnership with Methodify by Delvinia

Publication Date: July 2021

Access the July 28, 2021 Survey Media Release here

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