'We must act now': Quebec psychologists record increased stress among patients


MONTREAL -- Psychologists in Quebec are seeing an increase in distress among their patients. 

A recent survey conducted by the Ordre des psychologues du Québec among its public and private members specifies that 86 per cent of respondents noticed an increase.

Psychological distress manifests itself in more anxiety and 70 per cent in depressive symptoms, psychologists say. 

They also saw an increase in urgent requests and more problems with concentration, memory and attention (56 per cent). 

The president of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec, Christine Grou, is worried this portrait is just the tip of the iceberg.

Grou observed that nearly 70 per cent of psychologists who responded to the survey claimed to have received feedback from former clients whose condition has worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said Quebec is going through an unprecedented crisis and that the psychological impacts -- especially on vulnerable people -- are major. The struggles intensify and become more complex. Grou says we must act now to prevent the worst.

According to the survey, more than 50 per cent of psychologists say they are ready to take part in an emergency program to make their services easily accessible. In total, nearly 7,000 hours per week could be added by psychologists to help the population.

The survey was sent to the order's 8,843 members Oct. 19 and responses were collected until Oct. 21. A sample of 2,744 psychologists answered the questions, or 31 per cent of its members.


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