Four in Five (78%) Calgarians Believe There’s Still A Lot of Stigma Attached to Mental Illness; One in Five (21%) Feel Apprehensive Around Those With Such Illnesses

One in Four (24%) Would Feel Uncomfortable Talking About A Mental Health Concern If They Had One

Monday, February 11, 2013

Toronto, ON – A new survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary reveals that while most Calgarians understand the persistent stigma associated with mental illnesses, many are still apprehensive around those with such disorders. Four in five (78%) Calgarians believe that there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental illnesses, while one in five (22%) don’t believe such a stigma exists or are indifferent to this belief. Having said this, one in five (21%) Calgarians say they feel apprehensive around people with a mental illness, although twice as many (43%) don’t feel apprehensive around those with mental illnesses and another two in five (36%) are neutral. When it comes to the hypothetical situation of having a mental health concern themselves, two in five (43%) would feel comfortable talking about it if they had such concerns. One in four (24%), however, say they would feel uncomfortable with the remaining one in three (33%) Calgarians being indifferent or neutral.

Further, just half (52%) of Calgarians believe that if they had a mental health concern, they would know where to find help, with nearly an equal proportion not knowing where find help (23%) or remaining neutral (26%). While a slight majority of Calgarians would know where to find help for a mental health concern, even more believe they’d seek help if they had a mental illness. Seven in ten (69%) Calgarians say they would seek help if they had a mental illness, while one in ten (9%) would not and one in five (22%) are neutral.

Many Calgarians are also in the know when it comes to being at-risk for mental illnesses and the proportion of Canadians who have such illnesses. Three in four (75%) Calgarians correctly identify that anyone, including themselves, is at risk of experiencing a mental illness, compared to only one in four (25%) who didn’t know this risk.

Further, two in five (44%) Calgarians correctly identify that 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, with one in three (33%) believing this proportion to be 1 in 10 people. One in ten (11%) Calgarians believe that approximately 1 in 20 will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, or they couldn’t venture a guess.

Although Calgarians have some knowledge when it comes to the risks and prevalence of mental illnesses, they are less aware when it comes to identifying signs of these illnesses should they appear. One in three (28%) Calgarians say they’re familiar with the signs that would indicate that someone they know may be experiencing a mental illness, with more (40%) being unfamiliar with such signs and one in three (32%) giving a neutral opinion.

Overall, when rating their own knowledge about mental illnesses, slightly more Calgarians believe they are unknowledgeable (36%) about these illnesses than knowledgeable (32%), with an additional one in three (32%) being neutral on their own knowledge of mental illnesses.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between September 5th to 18th, 2012 on behalf of the Canadian Mental Health Association-Calgary. For this survey, a sample of 400 residents of the Calgary CMA from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 5.6 percentage points had all Calgarian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Jamie Duncan
Vice President
Ipsos Reid
Public Affairs

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

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Four in Five (78%) Calgarians Believe There’s Still A Lot of Stigma Attached to Mental Illness; One in Five (21%) Feel Apprehensive Around Those With Such Illnesses


Jamie Duncan
Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs