Canadians 'empathetic' to those with mental illness, addiction: Report 0
A new survey by The Salvation Army found that most Canadians are empathetic to those with mental illness and addiction. (Shutterstock)
Most Canadians have a friend or family member with a mental illness or addiction and believe the government should do more for people struggling with such problems, a new survey has found.
The Salvation Army report says most Canadians also believe there is a link between mental illness and poverty.
"In previous reports that we have released, we have seen a Canadian public that hasn't always been sensitive to, or didn't understand the needs of vulnerable people in our society," commissioner Brian Peddle, territorial commander for the Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda, said in a release about the report.
"Our latest report revealed an entirely different population, one that is extremely empathetic to those struggling with mental illness and addiction and hope for a better and brighter future for them."
In the report, Canada Speaks 2012: Mental Health, Addictions and the Roots of Poverty, 80% of survey respondents said they know of someone with a mental illness or addiction.
As well, 87% said the government needs to make mental illness a higher priority, and 84% said there should be more services to help those with addictions.
Most Canadians said there is a link between mental health and addiction, with 71% agreeing "a lot of people with addictions have mental health problems."
When it comes to mental illness and poverty, 80% said there is a link.
Peddle said the organization is interested in mental health and addiction because many of the people who come to it for help struggle with those problems.
He said the results of this year's survey are "promising and reveal a population that recognizes the barriers and obstacles facing Canadians that suffer from either mental illness or addiction."
The Angus Reid Public Opinion poll was conducted Feb. 23-24, and surveyed 1,011 Canadians in both French and English online. It is considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.