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Psychologists step up to help Quebecers deal with psychological distress


Montréal, October 27, 2020 - In a recent survey of members of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec in both private practice and the public system, 86% of respondents reported higher levels of distress among the clients they are seeing and more than 50% said they would be willing to take part in an emergency program to make their services more readily available. Psychologists are prepared to add a total of nearly 7,000 hours per week to help people cope. Quebecers face difficult situations and psychologists are there to provide support.

The survey’s most notable findings include increased psychological distress (86%) manifested by observed increases in anxiety (86%), depressive symptoms (70%), emergencies (67%), alcohol and drug use (46%), and concentration, memory and attention problems (56%).

The president of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec, psychologist Christine Grou, is concerned: “We have a picture of what is happening in psychologists’ offices and I’m afraid it’s just the tip of the iceberg.” Nearly 70% of respondents said former clients whose condition has worsened because of the pandemic have returned. “We are in the throes of an unprecedented crisis and we are seeing major psychological impacts, especially among vulnerable people,” says Dr. Grou. “The problems are becoming more intense and more complex. We must act now to prevent the worst.”

Survey highlights are available at The survey was sent to the Ordre’s 8,843 members on October 19 and responses were accepted until 10 p.m. on October 21. A total of 2,744 psychologists, or 31% of the membership, responded.

The Ordre’s core mission is to protect the public. To do so, it ensures the quality of the services provided by its members, supports the development of the profession and promotes access to psychological services.

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Interview requests:
Dominique Hétu, Director of communications
Ordre des psychologues du Québec