The BC COVID-19 SPEAK survey is now publicly available through an interactive dashboard. Almost 400,000 British Columbians participated in the online survey in May 2020. The results show that there are both positive and negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the pandemic response measures. The impacts differ across communities in British Columbia and Island Health.

Data are available for the Island Health region down to the community level. The survey measures factors such as pandemic response and prevention, personal experiences, risk and protective factors, individual and community resilience, as well as impacts on health-care, social connection and economic conditions.

We have heard a lot about mental health impacts during the pandemic. The data show that almost half of Island Health respondents reported worsening mental health. Island Health residents aged 18-29 and those with children were more likely to report worsening mental health.

Mental health is tied to community belonging, as a sense of belonging helps people manage stress and helps us cope with difficult times in our lives. Overall, 67% of Island Health respondents felt a strong sense of community belonging. Age-specific data show that this was much higher in older age groups, and lower in younger age groups. The lowest percentage of Island Health respondents to report a strong sense of community belonging were in the 18-29-year-old age group.

On a positive note, over 80% of Island Health respondents felt that the initial public health response was appropriate, which was higher than all other health authorities. This is something we can celebrate and build upon.

Island Health epidemiologists and analysts are working to analyze detailed community level data in order to help our partners mitigate any negative impacts and reinforce positive impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic so far.

Learn more and view the survey: www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/covid-19-survey  

Contact BCCDC at covid19.speak@bccdc.ca for more information.

Questions specific to Island Health data can be directed via email to pophealthsurvepi@islandhealth.ca.