What is mental health?
Everyone has mental health and like physical health, it fluctuates along a spectrum over the course of your life. It can vary from good mental well-being to severe mental health problems. Poor mental health can include struggling with low mood, stress or anxiety. A mental health concern or problem is generally defined as when poor mental health continues for a prolonged period. Some common mental health conditions include depression, anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders and bipolar.
Coronavirus’ impact on our mental health
Whilst studies had shown an upward trend of poor mental health in the UK even prior to the pandemic, the number of people struggling in the throes of the COVID 19, is seeing an exponential and staggering increase.
The mental health charity Mind, has found that more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) said their mental health got worse during lockdown. Further, as cited in the UK Government publication, Covid 19: Mental Health and Wellbeing Surveillance Report, the data analysed from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) suggests that, among adults average mental distress (measured using GHQ-12) was 8.1% higher in April 2020 than it was between 2017 and 2019.
From these statistics it’s exceedingly evident that it is more crucial than ever before to protect yourself and your family. This rude and frightening reminder of human frailty and the uncertainty of life has contributed to a significant rise in people taking out life insurance and other means of insurance to protect themselves and their loved one’s financial future in the face of this uncertainty.
Can you get life insurance if you have mental health issues?
If you already have an existing life insurance cover, the impact of your mental health on this depends on the severity of your current condition and your most recent medical history. Conversely, having a mental health condition, in the majority of cases, will not affect your ability to secure life insurance protection, although the cost of your cover may be higher.
In fact, the presence of conditions such as depression or anxiety will not result in your life insurance either being rejected or your monthly premiums necessarily being increased.
However, if your circumstances are particularly severe an insurer may need to carry out further investigation before your application is accepted. This may include requesting medical records from your GP.
The good news is that having a mental health condition, in the vast majority of cases will not affect your ability to secure life insurance protection (although the cost of your cover may be higher). Even if you have or have had a severe mental health problem there are still options available which we can advise you best on once we get the requisite information from you and we can help you navigate through this.
We want to assure you that in the vast majority of cases, you can still secure a suitable cover and won’t be exempt from getting the protection you and your loved ones need if you have a mental health condition. You can speak to us about any pre-existing conditions and our dedicated team will run over all your available options. The cover most suitable to you depends on the details of your circumstances – and as experts, we’re here to take the stress out of finding Life Insurance, and advise you on the most suitable policy.
As an Employer, how can I contribute to my employees’ mental wellbeing?
Early research into the health impacts of lockdown in relation to mental health shows that employees found themselves less motivated, frustrated, tired along with feelings of anxiety and isolation. The new remote working model has also resulted in the blurring of lines between work and home life and sometimes long working hours, which have undoubtedly taken its toll on the workforce.
As an employer, you have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of your employees and this includes mental health and well-being. Please note, that employees who have a mental health condition may be disabled as defined by the Equality Act 2010, and will therefore be protected from discrimination during employment.
What Group Private Medical Insurance (PMI) Can Do for Your Company
It’s now evident that taking out suitable and context-sensitive protection for your employees has never been more pressing. Group PMI is a type of employee benefit and is offered as part of a remuneration package and might be the solution to your answers.
With PMI, employees enrolled in the plan gain access to the many benefits of private healthcare services, facilities and professionals and in effect circumvents the need to have to wait to receive medical attention faster than through the NHS.
Due to the heavy burden faced by the NHS in the face of this pandemic, offering group PMI to your employees will give them the peace of mind, knowing they will have almost immediate access to the medical care they need. Group PMI can help to reduce the cost of sickness absence, and boost the productivity of your employees as they know they are well looked after by their employer. It will also set you apart as an employer who cares for their employees. And the cherry to top it all off – PMI is normally an allowable business expense for corporation tax purposes under current tax rules, however there are Benefit-In-Kind implication for employees.
Our mental health has never been in a more precarious state as we are fighting to cope with a brand-new set of circumstances including how to cope with quarantine, social distancing, loss of contact with peers and colleagues, bereavement, coupled with fear of catching the virus and fear for the health of loved ones. This fear and uncertainty about the risk of infection many feel for themselves and their loved ones is exacerbated by many other pressures – financial struggles, worries about job stability, loss of income, and loss of employment.
Which is why having the right protection, can help alleviate this fear and worry. We want to reiterate that based on your unique situation and circumstances, we can advise you as an individual, an employer or as an employee about what cover best suits your needs. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll take away the worry and the stress about choosing the perfect protection for you.
Where to get help for your mental health
If you are experiencing stress, feelings of anxiety or low mood, you can visit the NHS mental health and wellbeing page for self-assessment, audio guides and practical tools. Every Mind Matters also provides simple tips and advice to start taking better care of your mental health.
If it is affecting your daily life, contact NHS 111 or speak to your GP. NHS mental health services remain open. You can find further information on how to access mental health services and search what is available in your area. Support is also available through the mental health charities.
If you need help for a mental health crisis, emergency or breakdown, you should get immediate expert advice and assessment. Visit NHS.UK to find out where to get urgent help for mental health. In a medical emergency, call 999.
This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical health emergency.