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Mental health support through your life insurance
Glance at any data on mental health and the UK and it’s not too optimistic. The latest LifeSearch Health, Wealth & Happiness Report found that mental health has sunk again, in the latter part of 2022, to new lows . Nationwide, more than one in every four people (27%) say their mental health is worse than six months ago – rising to near one in three in some places (West Midlands: 31%; Scotland: 35%).
This latest spike comes over and above the swell of mental health issues left in the pandemic’s wake. Just over a year ago, The Guardian reported that some 8m people in England alone weren’t receiving the mental health support they required  … and that was before a cost-of-living crisis came along to disrupt life and dominate the daily thoughts of nearly half (44%) the population .
We could keep throwing stats around, but beneath the percentages are real people of all ages in varying degrees of crisis - and many can’t access the timely help they need.
Mental health service gaps
Provision of public mental health services is patchy. Waiting times differ based on location, age and the severity of the condition but research of recent headlines suggests a wait time of 12 weeks is on the good side, but months or even a year is more likely.
With public mental health services stretched, the obvious go-to is private mental health care, and there’s no shortage of options there. Accessing a mental health consultation is now as easy as searching online.
On its website, the NHS states that private mental health consultations cost “anywhere between £10 and £70”, depending on where you are and what you need . It also states that “(there may be) lower rates for students, job seekers and those on low wages.”
If the up-to £70p/h estimate is near the mark, it’s sadly ironic in a cost-of-living crisis that’s badly impacting the nation’s mental health, that therapy appointments cost almost four times the UK’s average hourly wage (£16.37) .
And that £70 - that’s just one session. For someone who needs four, or six or more sessions, the costs quickly add up at a time we’d all rather keep a lid on our outgoings.
Put your life insurance to work
By now you may know we’re explaining and celebrating the extra benefits, the “perks” that may be written into your life insurance policy. Mental health support is a fairly common one.
Our most recent records show that the vast majority of LifeSearch insurance partners offer some kind of mental health support, virtual and face-to-face, from bereavement counselling to CBT, companionship services and mindfulness courses.
Accessing such a service depends on your insurer’s policy but many are anywhere/ anytime - so it’s simply a case of getting in touch.
We make it sound so easy. And really, it is. The problem here isn’t ease of access but awareness. LifeSearch data shows that over two-thirds (69%) of people with life insurance policies don’t know that “perks” are a thing.
There’s more awareness among younger people (18-34-year-olds), but even there it’s a 50/50: half know that policy perks exist and half don’t.
So know this: if you hold a life insurance policy, these are freebies you may be entitled to. You could access them now, today. Not in 12-16 weeks’ time (at best), not for up-to £70 a pop, but freely and as-soon-as-possible.
Your next step
Have a look at your policy. Browse your perks. It’ll only take a minute and if you don’t have your paperwork to hand then give us a shout on 0800 316 7253.
Out there, access to mental health support will take a while or it’ll cost you. Explore it through your insurer and you’ll be on the fast-track to free solutions … at a time when both free and solutions are in short supply.
Sophie began as a Protection Adviser at LifeSearch in 2017, helping customers to Protect the lives they love. She now brings her experience to Protection Content within the Marketing team. Sophie’s a passionate Street Dance teacher in her spare time, and teaches children and adults all the right moves.See all articles by Sophie Cussons
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