World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5)

The experts recommend the WHO-5 to evaluate subjective well-being (Information sheet 14, Questionnaire 12). The instrument has been validated and displays acceptable psychometric properties. It comprises five items that measure the positive dimension of psychological well-being (Bech, 2004; Henkel et al., 2003). It is a very short questionnaire whose questions are easy to understand and are hardly invasive. The literature abundantly documents this instrument used the world over. It can be used among children 9 years of age and over, adolescents, adults and the elderly (Allgaier et al., 2012, 2013). It is also used to screen for depression (Krieger et al., 2014).

Mental Health Continuum Short Form (MHC-SF)

The MHC-SF is a 14-item instrument that evaluates three dimensions of positive mental health, i.e. emotional, psychological and social well-being (Information sheet 15, Questionnaire 13) (Keyes, 2002). The respondents are classified as having flourishing mental health (high levels of emotional well-being and positive functioning), languishing mental health (low levels of emotional well-being and positive functioning), or moderate mental health (neither flourishing nor languishing). This instrument displays acceptable metrological qualities both for adults and for adolescents (Lamers et al., 2011). It was incorporated into the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) – Mental Health, the 2011-2012 CCHS – Annual Component and the 2016-2017 Québec Health Survey of High School Students (QHSHSS), who produces Canadian and Québec statistics for this indicator (Gilmour, 2014; Orpana et al., 2017).

Other general questions related to mental health

There are questions in the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) that are not part of a standardized instrument but that allow for the measurement of some aspects of mental health. The question concerning satisfaction with life evaluates this aspect:

“Using a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 means 'very dissatisfied' and 10 means 'very satisfied,' how do you feel about your life as a whole right now?” (Questionnaire 24).

In keeping with the recommendations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the question concerning satisfaction with life is available in several cycles of the CCHS, which provides Canadian and Québec statistics (Table 4).

Another question, drawn from the “General health” module in the CCHS, provides a self-evaluation of mental health status:

“In general, would you say that your mental health is: excellent, very good, good, fair or poor?” (Questionnaire 24).

Stress is also broached:

“Thinking about the amount of stress in your life, would you say that most of your days are: not at all stressful ... extremely stressful?”(Questionnaire 24).

To determine the availability of Québec statistics related to these questions, please consult (Table 4).