Pandemic making us more comfortable talking about mental health

Depressed young woman talks to therapist

At a time when COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on so many lives, its impact on mental health is well documented, and many of us are starting to talk about it more.

In fact, Canadians are now increasingly likely to disclose a mental illness, with three quarters indicating they would either comfortably or reluctantly disclose it, according to a recent survey from RBC Insurance. The survey also shows that half of us view depression and anxiety as a disability.

However, the findings reveal that having personal experience with disability plays an important role. Those who have taken time off for a disability – whether for themselves or for someone they know – are more likely to feel completely comfortable admitting to mental health struggles. However, among those who have no personal experience with disability at all, this number drops.

“Canadians who have seen the impact that disabilities can have on the lives of those around them better understand the seriousness of mental illness, and the fact that they are more willing to communicate openly will hopefully set a positive example for others moving forward,” says Maria Winslow, senior director of life and health at RBC Insurance.

A personal history with mental health also affects attitudes about disability insurance, which provides money that can replace lost income if someone needs to take time off.

Furthermore, a quarter of respondents agree that buying personal disability coverage is more important to them since the pandemic, while one in five say they are more likely to purchase coverage that can protect them from the risk of financial hardship.

Early intervention is critical when dealing with mental illnesses so check with your benefits provider for programs that offer rapid access to psychologists, and options for telemedicine or digital tools that can be used from the privacy and comfort of home.

Source – www.newscanada.com