Imagine that a close friend tells you they’ve been signed off work. If you’re like most people, your first thought will be “What’s happened? Have they been involved in an accident? Have they broken something?” We generally associate being off work with some sort of physical illness or injury. As a result, we don’t tend to think that those who sit behind a desk all day are at much risk of being unable to work.
But the figures tell a very different story. According to recent statistics, 33.5% of those who are unable to work for health reasons have been signed off due to mental health conditions such as burnout or depression. This equates to one in three – and the proportion is rising. In fact, mental health conditions are now the most common reason why people are unable to work.
With these figures in mind, it’s high time we all tackle mental health taboos head-on. In the USA, May has been officially known as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949. The initiative was launched by Mental Health America with the aim of raising awareness of mental health and getting rid of the judgments and stigmas that can come with it.
The organisation’s efforts have paid off – and, in more recent decades, many similar campaigns have been established here in Europe as well, such as the Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK and the European Mental Health Week. By shining the spotlight on various aspects of mental health, events like these encourage people to speak up for mental health and campaign for better support to help more people to lead a healthy, fulfilled life.
Mental health affects us all. And mental health conditions are more widespread than you may think. To give just one example, around 350 million people worldwide live with depression and it is the most common mental health condition in Germany. Despite this, in higher income nations, it has been estimated that only around a quarter of people with depression receive minimally adequate treatment.
One of the reasons for this is that the symptoms of depression are not always seen as a real illness, while feelings of shame or fear frequently deter people from seeking professional help. On top of this, the condition is often not taken seriously enough and is still a taboo topic for many.
It is therefore all the more important that every effort is made to raise awareness of the issue – so we can remove the stigma and find a constructive, holistic approach to mental health. Help and support are available from a number of excellent organisations, such as Deutsche Depressionshilfe in Germany or the European Alliance Against Depression.
If one thing is clear, it’s that good health is not guaranteed. You can’t predict whether you’ll be affected by a mental illness, but you can protect yourself from some of the consequences. And doing so is easier than you think with occupational disability insurance. If you are unable to work due to ill health, it’s essential that you continue to have money coming in to cover your living expenses, allowing you to focus fully on your recovery.
With occupational disability insurance, you will continue to receive a monthly income if you can demonstrate that you are unable to work for at least six months. The insurance is linked to your most recent job, so you will be covered even if you could theoretically still do another job. That way, you can concentrate on getting better without worrying about money. And don’t forget that the sooner you take out an occupational disability insurance policy, the lower your premiums will be throughout the policy term.
At Getsafe, we make insurance simple so you can enjoy life to the full. The best time to get insured is now – so you can feel safe in the knowledge that you’re protected and don’t have to worry about your financial security if you need to stop working.
We are here for you! If you have any questions, please feel free to arrange a personal consultation with us.