Egale recently partnered with Innovative Research Group (INNOVATIVE) to include LGBTQI2S communities in a national study on the impacts of COVID-19 and the needs of Canadians during this health crisis. The newly released report, Impacts of COVID-19: Canada’s LGBTQI2S Community in Focus, , uncovers alarmingly disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable LGBTQI2S communities across several priority areas including household finances, job loss, mental and physical health, overall quality of life, and more.
The survey results show a telling contrast between Canada’s LGBTQI2S community and the broader Canadian population. Although astonishing, the results are not unexpected. Below are some of the key findings;
More than half (52%) of Canada’s LGBTQI2S households have faced lay-offs or reduced employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 39% of overall Canadian households.
The perceived negative impacts on mental health over time increase exponentially for LGBTQI2S people with nearly 60% of LGBTQI2S respondents reporting that they expect their mental health to be negatively impacted in the next 2 months compared to only 42% of the general public
Additionally, LGBTQI2S people are significantly more likely to have a chronic illness or physical disability, both of which come with many barriers and risks during a time of crisis. The report also shows that over time, the perceived or expected impacts on LGBTQI2S people rises at an exponentially higher rate than the average Canadian – in some areas there is nearly a 25% increase in perceived or expected negative impacts for particularly vulnerable LGBTQI2S people.
Every inch closer that we come to closing the data gap is one step forward towards a more inclusive Canada. Our community is facing critical needs that show the potential to worsen over time – now is the time to be looking at the problems that are on the horizon, not just for LGBTQI2S people, but for everyone.
This is only a starting point. The government needs to apply this timely research to decision making frameworks and policies that assist vulnerable LGBTQI2S communities across Canada.
The full research report is available in French and English here..
Helen Kennedy, Executive Director
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