OTTAWA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- One in 10 Canadians, or about 2.8 million people aged 15 and older, reported symptoms consistent with at least one of six mental or substance-use disorders in 2012, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday.
Mood disorders were cited by 5.4 percent of some 25,100 respondents to the annual Canadian Community Health Survey conducted by Statistics Canada.
Depression was the most common type of mood disorder, with 4.7 percent of the Canadian population meeting the criteria, according to the national data collection-and-analysis agency, which also noted that 1.5 percent of respondents met the criteria for bipolar disorder last year.
Approximately 2.6 percent reported symptoms consistent with generalized anxiety disorder.
The result marks the first time that the condition -- characterized by frequent, persistent worry and excessive anxiety over several events or activities -- was measured by in a national population health survey.
About 4.4 percent reported a substance-use disorder, the most common of which was alcohol abuse or dependence with 3.2 percent.
Meanwhile, 1.3 percent of respondents, or almost double the proportion of those with other drug abuse or dependence (0.7 percent), met the criteria for cannabis abuse or dependence.
Statistics Canada also said that last year, 17 percent of Canadians, or about 5.9 million people, felt they had a need for mental health care -- but only two-thirds (67 percent) had their needs met.
Counselling, at 12 percent, was the most common type of mental health care needed, but also the least-often met (65 percent), followed by a need for therapy.
By contrast, a need for medication was reported less often, at 10 percent, yet was also the need most likely to be reported as met by 91 percent of respondents with such a need.
The Ottawa-based, 7,000-member Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) noted that over 1.5 million Canadians had a perceived unmet or partially met need for mental health care and that most people couldn't afford to pay for such care, or had no private insurance.
Unlike psychiatric services which fall under medical care, psychological services are not covered by Canada's provincial public health-insurance plans.
Canada has fallen behind such other countries as Britain, Australia, the Netherlands and Finland, which pay for psychologists' fees and "it is time," said CPA chief executive Karen Cohen.