Mental Illness – Local 1996-O continues to advocate for Mental Health and Addiction


Mental Illness and Addiction: Facts and Statistics

Learn more about mental illness and substance use disorders here.


  • In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness.1
  • By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have – or have had – a mental illness.2

Who is affected?

  • Young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness and/or substance use disorders than any other age group.3
  • 39% of Ontario high-school students indicate a moderate-to-serious level of psychological distress (symptoms of anxiety and depression). A further 17% indicate a serious level of psychological distress.4
  • Men have higher rates of substance use disorders than women, while women have higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders.5
  • Mental and physical health are linked. People with a long-term physical health condition such as chronic pain are much more likely to also experience mood disorders. Conversely, people with a mood disorder are at much higher risk of developing a long-term medical condition.6
  • People with a mental illness are twice as likely to have a substance use disorder compared to the general population. At least 20% of people with a mental illness have a co-occurring substance use disorder.7 For people with schizophrenia, the number may be as high as 50%.8


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