Did you know that 1 in 5 people face mental health issues during their lifetime? That means the odds of you, a family member or someone you know being affected by mental health are high. Issues related to mental health can come in a variety of forms such as anxiety and depression and they don’t only affect a person’s sleep, daily functionality and relationship – they also affect your money.
The cost of struggling with mental illness
According to Manulife, 44% of long-term disability claims made by employees are mental health related. But while getting help can come with a steep price tag, providing vital care for those who need it is worth its cost in spades.
Untreated depression can cause a variety of long-term health complications from chronic illnesses such as heart disease and pain perception to trouble sleeping. The cost to treat long-term illnesses, without health insurance, can quickly add up – and become another source of stress and depression.
Symptoms of anxiety include unease and a change in personality traits such as compulsive behavior or panic attacks. Compulsive behavior can lead to impulse purchases and binge-spending. When someone feels out of control internally, it can easily crossover to external actions.
How can you help someone affected by mental health?
The best way to help someone who is suffering is to be open to the conversation. Unfortunately, even though mental health affects a lot of Canadians, there is still a stigma relating to the condition. For that reason, some people are reluctant to talk their feelings and express what they’re going through. However, if you’re unable to talk about the causes of stress, anxiety and depression, how will you get the professional help you need to get better?
The first step is to encourage your friend or family member to seek professional treatment. According to Depression Hurts “the goal of any treatment is to help you feel more like yourself again so that you are able to enjoy the things you used to. To do so means finding the right treatment to address and alleviate all of your symptoms. Also, the goal of treatment goes beyond just getting better it is about staying better.”
Your employer can help too
Offering extended mental health benefits is one way that employers can encourage employees to seek help. Employers can also partner with leading mental health organizations to keep employees informed about the causes, effects and symptoms of mental health issues. This will help spot the signs from onset and detection can enhance treatment options.
If you believe in positive mental health, review your health insurance policy to see if you and your loved ones are covered. This is the first step in improving your quality of life – physically, mentally and financially. If you have questions about health, critical illness or long-term disability insurance, please contact me anytime, I’m happy to help.