Data Blog

You’re reading our Data Blog, a new way of discovering public health data and getting the inside scoop on upcoming publications.

Mental Illness in Canada Published: ()

Mental illnesses have a significant impact on the health of Canadians as well as the Canadian economy, including our health and social care systems. The Report from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System: Mental Illness in Canada, 2015, is the first national report to use linked administrative health data (physician billing and hospitalization records), for the surveillance of mental illness. The findings are sobering:

1 in 3

1 in 3 Canadians (about 9.1 million people) will be affected by a mental illness during their lifetime. [CCHS Mental Health 2012]

5 million

Approximately 5 million Canadians received health services for a mental illness in 2009/10. That's more than the population of British Columbia. [PHAC 2015]


Mental illnesses often develop during adolescence and young adulthood. Over one-third (or 38%) of Canadians with a mental illness or substance use disorder reported that their symptoms started before the age of 15. [PHAC, 2006 - re-tabulation of Fig 2.3]

Young and Old

There is an increasing trend in the use of health services for mental illness among young Canadian adolescents and a very high use among the elderly. [PHAC 2015]


Canadian females are 30% more likely than males to use health services for mental illness. [PHAC 2015]

$8 billion

That’s the total estimated cost of hospital care, physician care and drug expenditures associated with mental illness in Canada in 2008. [EBIC online tool – custom tabulation of the direct costs associated with mental illness and all its diagnostic subcategories using ICD-10-CA diagnostic codes]

1 in 7

Every year, 1 in 7 Canadians use health services for a mental illness. [Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) 2015]

Next >>
Date modified: