The time is now for public health to lead the way on addressing financial strain in Canada

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  • Financial strain was an issue for many Canadians long before the arrival of the global novel coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. However, it has worsened in recent months in relation to the pandemic and public health measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Members of underserved groups and people who experience poverty are particularly vulnerable to financial strain and its negative health impacts. As public health professionals, we should be concerned. In this commentary, we discuss the concept of financial strain and its health consequences and highlight how existing research in the area is falling short and why. We suggest next steps to guide research and practice related to financial strain such that it reflects the core values of public health, including equity, life course approaches, and the social determinants of health. This commentary is a call to action for public health researchers and practitioners in Canada to take a more prominent role in shaping the agenda on financial strain to support financial well-being for all.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution 4.0 International