Well-informed thanks to the press newspaper of the government, Quebecers have better rolled with the psychological impact of the pandemic elsewhere in Canada and the United States, suggests a study conducted by the University of Sherbrooke.
“What’s fascinating is that Quebec is the province with the most cases and deaths are confirmed, so we will have all the reasons to be more worried and stressed, but despite this the Quebecois way seems to be better informed or reassured,” says Dr. Mélissa Généreux, a professor-researcher in public health at the University of Sherbrooke.
According to her, the fact that Quebecers (72,9 %) had taken the habit to inform at the government press or from the media that tell the information could explain ensure that Quebec is the province that shows a rate of anxiety is lower. The rate of major depression in Quebec (17 %) is also significantly lower than that found in Ontario (26.2 %) and elsewhere in Canada (21.3 percent).
“The emphasis [in press conferences in Quebec] on the “what to do? What to know? Where to find information?”, it has been a solution that seems to have been winning, at least for the psychological well-being of the population”, said the former director of public health in the eastern Townships.
This allows the citizens to increase their sense of coherence, the ability to understand an event and to find solutions to face them. According to Dr. Generous, it is therefore essential to have access to information that provides the right time ” to just adapt and better understand the situation facing us.
Better mental health in Quebec
For several weeks, the team of researchers led by Dr. Generous has surveyed nearly 7800 people from different countries such as Canada, the United States, England, Switzerland, Hong-Kong, the Philippines, and New Zealand. The survey was designed to measure “the influence of media discourse and government on the psychological response and behaviour of the population”.
And the results show that the United States seem to be more affected on the level of the psychological health of the seven countries and regions analyzed. According to the data, the generalized anxiety in the United States reached 31 %, and major depression to 28.2 %.
“In Canada it saves somewhat less generalized anxiety (19.6 %) and depression (22,2 %),” says the survey.
The research team reflected currently to launch a new phase which could show the effects of the pandemic on the long-term.