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Most Ontarians fear second wave of COVID-19, worries linked to actions of others: CMHA poll

A new poll shows an overwhelming majority of Ontarians (84 per cent) remain concerned about the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19, primarily driven by worry of other people not following the proper distancing rules as businesses and schools reopen.

The survey conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division indicates respondents are worried people are becoming too relaxed too quickly (83 per cent), about coming in contact with people who are not taking the proper precautions (78 per cent), and that others are not following physical distancing guidelines (84 per cent).

Additionally, 79 per cent fear the possibility of the province going back into lockdown if a second wave hits Ontario, and 85 per cent are concerned that a second wave will “put us back where we started.”

This data comes from the second of three polls Pollara Strategic Insights is conducting on behalf of CMHA Ontario. The first poll, released in May, showed a majority of Ontarians believe the province is headed for a mental health crisis.

CMHA Ontario is looking to evaluate how Ontarians’ perceptions of their mental health are changing as they come out from underneath the pandemic. One more survey in the coming months will measure perceptions of loosening restrictions and the province’s reopening.

Parents concerned amid back-to-school season

Poll results also indicated parents are particularly stressed about sending their children back to the classroom during the pandemic. Specifically:

Comparison: first poll versus second poll

While concerns around mental health in general remain high, results of CMHA Ontario’s second poll, when compared its first poll, indicated the negative impact of COVID-19 on mental health has slightly declined or remains unchanged. In particular:

Pollara’s online research of 1,002 Ontario adults was conducted from July 23 to Aug. 2. It carries a margin of error of ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Mental health and addictions supports have remained available through the pandemic at CMHA Niagara. Learn more on our website.

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