I have always been an active industry compaigner for the importance of insurance in protecting clients and building personal financial resilience. Whilst this has previously focused on physical health, mental wellbeing has increasingly become part of the conversation and is never more relevant than now.
Over the past weeks and months, we have managed the lockdown situation in our own individual ways, coping as best we can within the rules. The Covid 19 pandemic has ramifications across all of our financial and non-financial related areas, stimulating acres of print. Today we thought we would talk about mental health, and things you should consider during these strange times. Some of you will have had direct experience of mental illness within your family or friends. Until recently this was very much a taboo subject, shied away from with people often uncomfortable even mentioning the topic. We would like to suggest that we can now approach mental health positively, and thankfully any previous stigma is largely being removed.
So why are Cavendish Ware raising this? Unfortunately, one of the legacies of the current crisis will undoubtedly be the real impact on many people’s mental health. It is partly the challenges of lockdown, potentially managing in furlough, the fear of the getting ill or worry about future employment and the economy. However, did you know one in 3 stress cases start with money issues? Building financial resilience through a good financial plan and appropriate insurance cover can benefit not just your wealth, but also perhaps more importantly your long-term health.
At Cavendish Ware we look after individual and corporate clients, and many of you will have employment assistance programmes (EAPs) via your work place that will give you free access to services such as counselling. It is definitely worth checking with your employer to confirm whether you have these services available. Some of you will have individual protection plans where ancillary services such as counselling, access to remote doctors and second opinion services are also included.
One in five people in the UK have a disability. This number often surprises people but included in this figure will be mental related illnesses such as depression and bi-polar, so it is very much all around us. The good news is there is lots of support available even if you do not have this via your employer or an existing protection policy. We have pulled together some useful guides for you. Based on our experience, the main advice we would give is to “confront and engage” head on because in the vast majority of cases this will help. We know this because we have some great examples of clients where addressing the issue has been the first step to solving it. Yes, you have to be brave, but because the taboo has been largely removed, we know you will find sympathetic and willing supporters.
We would also encourage you to talk to your loved ones if appropriate and to think about your circle of friends and family. You may know someone who you suspect has issues but is worried to speak out, and an understanding word of support can make all the difference. Please encourage them and by all means send them our links if appropriate. Many of us are trying to make at least 3 calls a day just to say hello to people. Working from home or in a new isolation is not the norm for most, so more human interaction and even a conversation about the good old British weather can help!
The link https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus has some really helpful tips. However, nothing can replace a personal conversation so please reach out to those around you, and if we can assist in anything then we are here to help.
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