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.
- 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.