Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, released her 2019 Annual Report on the State of Public Health in Canada: Addressing Stigma: Towards a more inclusive health system. The report presents health trends in Canada and takes an in-depth look at the impact of stigma on our health. Through her report, Dr. Tam calls on leaders in Canada’s health system to understand and address stigma.

Quick facts

  • Each year, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada is required to submit an annual report on the State of Public Health in Canada to the Minister of Health.
  • Some key trends identified in this year’s report include:
    • Improvements in some social factors that affect health. For example, fewer adults and children are living in poverty, and more people in Canada are pursuing post-secondary education.
    • Substance use and its related harms continue to affect many people in Canada. Last year, more than 12 people in Canada died every day from an opioid-related overdose.
    • Vaping among youth is increasing rapidly across the country, and we do not yet fully understand the related harms.
    • Sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, such as syphilis, are on the rise.
    • Rates of antibiotic-resistant infections are increasing, making common infections harder to treat.
    • The rapid rise in measles cases in many countries this year and gaps in vaccination rates is concerning.
  • One in four Canadians has reported experiencing at least one form of discrimination, with racism being the most common type reported.
    • Indigenous people and Black Canadians are twice as likely as the general population to report being treated unfairly.
    • LGBTQ2S community members are three times more likely to report being treated unfairly than the general population.
    • 20% of Canadians with a mental illness report being affected by negative opinions or unfair treatment because of their poor mental health.
    • 50% of Canadians in recovery from substance use disorders report experiencing stigma and discrimination.

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