Today is #TimeToTalk Day, aiming to support those suffering with a mental health condition by encouraging us all to be more open about a topic that still has a stigma attached.
The #UOKM8, #HereForYou and #EndTheStigma campaigns are gaining hundreds of thousands of shares, likes and retweets. It’s a really positive step in the right direction for the general population and for sufferers of mental illness alike – starting that conversation and acknowledging that more action needs to be taken.
But the practicalities of someone living with a mental health condition still have a long way to go with sufferers still fearing telling their friends, family and employer about their situation. It can be a very difficult subject to broach as no one can guarantee the outcome – horror stories shared on social media help to fuel this fear.
Suffering from a mental illness makes you no less human, and your needs are still the same and, in some situations, more so than the average person. For example, you will still rent or buy a house, still marry or have children and still have the same risk of falling critically ill as anyone else.
At FOCUS, we know that there is a need for those living with a mental health condition to gain access to the same life insurance solutions.
It may be that you need life insurance to protect your mortgage, critical illness protection to provide protection for your family or income protection to maintain your standard of living if you’re unable to work due to ill health.
The barriers that once faced someone suffering from stress, anxiety and depression or any mental illness are not what they once were. With the growing awareness surrounding the subject, life insurance providers are making their underwriting process more flexible, giving greater opportunity to clients with pre-existing conditions, including the mildest to most severe mental health conditions.
Rather than just a “yes/no” decision based on your diagnosis, insurance providers are now asking questions surrounding your general well-being as well as the specifics of how your condition affects you. And they are now more often than not able to offer terms with a slight increase to the premium or with certain exclusions on your policy – and sometimes no changes at all in the case of historical mental health problems.
As well as a wider view with regards to the underwriting process, protection providers are also taking steps towards actively helping those in need. With dedicated online communities providing a forum for discussion about mental health as well as helplines with access to telephone counsellors who can make emergency appointments for face to face consultations.
The game has really changed from just a few years ago, meaning anyone suffering with a mental health condition now has the access to different forms of life insurance protection as well as dedicated support services. Life insurance protection can be arranged to secure both yours – and your family’s future should the worst happen – even if you’re living with a mental health condition.
The process still requires taking the first step and disclosing your mental health condition to an insurance broker or provider directly. However, you are very likely to be met with patience and understanding. With one in four adults suffering from mental health problems in their lifetime, it could be that the person you are speaking to can understand and empathise with your situation and can suggest the best solutions for you.
FOCUS is keen to support mental health awareness and those living with a mental health condition by finding life insurance solutions where historically, this has not been possible.
If you would like to have a no obligation discussion about your life insurance and protection needs, contact our Protection Adviser – in confidence.