Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Mental Health

Anxiety Disorders

Emergency Department Visits
Reasons for Admission or Visit

Anxiety disorders involve biological, psychological and social influences, and can be challenging to diagnose. Symptoms of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks may be the result of other medical conditions (e.g. asthma), or may be the cause of other medical conditions (e.g. hypertension). Anxiety disorders are characterised by persistent anxiety symptoms, obsessions, compulsions, or phobias or fears. Further information about anxiety and anxiety disorders is available from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

To find out more about access to mental health resources, please visit our addictions and mental health community resources page.


From 2011 to 2015, there were, on average, 320 anxiety disorder-related hospitalizations per year among Simcoe Muskoka residents. In 2015, an age-standardized rate of 66 (59.7, 73.8) anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions per 100,000 persons was reported in Simcoe Muskoka. This was significantly higher than the provincial rate in 2015 of 47 (46.6, 48.9) hospitalizations per 100,000 persons. A significant increase in the age-standardized rate of anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions from 2011 to 2015 was observed at the provincial level, but this increase was not evident in Simcoe Muskoka.

Significantly higher rates were observed in women than in men in Simcoe Muskoka and overall, with an age-standardized rate of 73 (68.5, 77.8) hospitalizations per 100,000 women compared to 47 (43.9, 51.5) hospitalizations per 100,000 men in Simcoe Muskoka.


The highest age-specific hospitalization rates for anxiety disorders occurred among children and youths, with 96 (88.3, 104.2) hospitalizations per 100,000 among children and youths <1 to 19 years in Simcoe Muskoka. The lowest rates were among older adults with 27 (21.2, 34.3) anxiety disorder-related hospitalizations per 100,000 persons 65 to 74 years of age. A similar age distribution was observed across the province.


Emergency Department Visits

The number of anxiety disorder-related emergency department visits in Simcoe Muskoka residents rose from around 3,100 in 2011 to 4,200 in 2015.

There was a significant increase in the age-standardized rate for anxiety disorder-related emergency department visits, from 610 (588.2, 631.6) per 100,000 persons in 2011 to 798 (774.4, 823.0) visits per 100,000 persons in 2015. A similar increasing trend was observed provincially, although the Simcoe Muskoka rate was significantly higher than the Ontario rate of 588 (583.6, 591.8) anxiety disorder-related emergency department visits per 100,000 persons in 2015.

The age-standardized rate of emergency department visits related to anxiety disorders was roughly 10 times higher than the age-standardized rate of hospitalizations. This suggests that persons living with anxiety disorders are significantly more likely to seek care for acute symptoms than they are to be admitted to hospital for ongoing treatment related primarily to their anxiety disorder.


Women in Simcoe Muskoka had significantly higher age-standardized rates of anxiety disorder-related emergency department visits than men, with 815 (799.3, 830.5) visits per 100,000 women compared to 587 (573.4, 600.5) visits per 100,000 men. This is similar to the provincial pattern.

The age-specific rate of emergency department visits related to anxiety disorders was highest among adults aged 20 to 44 years, with 1051 (1028.6, 1073.2) visits per 100,000 Simcoe Muskoka residents in this age group, followed by children and youth with 644 (624.1, 663.9) visits per 100,000 person aged <1 to 19 years. The provincial rates followed a similar trend to Simcoe Muskoka, although age-specific rates for adults 20 to 44 years and for children and youth <20 years in Simcoe Muskoka were considerably higher than the provincial rate, while the rates were more similar among the older age groups.


Reasons for Admission or Visit

The most common diagnoses among anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions and were for adjustment disorders, predominantly among adolescents, and for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Adjustment disorders are typically a sequelae of symptoms including depression and anxiety that follow a stressful life event such as the loss of a loved one. The most common diagnosis among anxiety-related emergency department visits was unspecified anxiety disorder.


The specific diagnostic codes used to identify mood disorder-related hospital admissions and emergency department visits are presented on the OMHRS data source page.