When asked where they would turn for counselling, guidance or support in the event of bereavement, serious illness or family concerns, 18% of people said they didn’t know, while 51% of people said they would talk to their GP and 45% said they would talk to family and friends. Aegon also reveals that mental health has been a consistent cause of income protection claims, accounting for an average of 29% of claims in the last three years.
Stephen Crosbie, Protection Director, Aegon comments: “Mental health struggles when dealing with loss is an issue that effects everyone, from the man on the street to royalty. No matter who you are, no one should feel alone when dealing with the mental and emotional strain the loss of a loved one or the diagnosis of a serious illness can cause. The feeling of isolation and desperation that often accompanies grief and emotional stress, should not be brushed under the carpet. People need to be reassured and encouraged to use all the help that is available to them. Sharing the burden of what they are going through, could save them a lot of pain further down the road.
“The need for practical and emotional support should be an immediate priority. We realise how difficult it can be for people to find help when they need it, which is why we offer a health and wellbeing support service from Health Assured to all of our customers. This provides them and their families with access to confidential support and guidance on a wide range of issues whenever they need it. The NHS has waiting lists for this kind of support, but our customers can access this immediately – and not just if they need to claim. Having someone outside the normal circle of friends or family to turn to is a great option in helping release the pressure valve.”
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*Research undertaken on a sample of 571 respondents from the Aegon Customer and Consumer panel, surveyed in March 2017.