A recent Global News Poll conducted by Ipsos is a compelling look at how we think about our health. Most notably, there is a strong connection between our physical and mental health that would come as no surprise to health practitioners.
Canadians are overall quite pessimistic about their physical health. Just 23% are in excellent or very good health. Forty-three per cent rate their health as “good.” Older Canadians and those with more education tend to be more positive about their physical health overall.
When it comes to mental health, Canadians are more positive. Forty per cent say their mental health is very good or excellent. Again, older people and those with more education are generally more positive. The age impact is dramatic. Almost half of those 55+ rate their mental health as good or excellent compared with only 32% of those under 35 years of age. Either younger people are more willing to acknowledge mental issues or they are under much more mental stress. Certainly younger people are more stressed.
The Physical and Mental Health Linkage
The physical impact of mental health challenges are often noted and the Global News survey certainly refinforces this view. Of those who rate their mental health as excellent or very good, 85% rate their physical health as at least good (compared with 65% for all Canadians). Only 21% of those who feel their mental health is poor rate their physical health as at least good.
Public assessments of our health are nuanced and interesting. We are quite down on our physical health — few of us think it is excellent. We are only somewhat more positive about our mental health. And, our mental health and physical health are fundamentally tied together. Those who think their mental health is poor also think their physical health is poor.
Source: Ipsos/Global News Poll conducted online between August 20 and 23, 2018 (n=1001). Report