Ensuring a quality life with a balance between physical and mental well-being is one of the pre-requisites of a healthy life. However, with a fast-paced lifestyle and the pandemic exacerbating the situation, mental health disturbances are on the rise, largely due to various reasons like prolonged health issues, job retrenchments, pay-cuts, anxiety arising due to virus threat, sleep disturbances, etc. As per a World Health Organisation (WHO) report of 2019, nearly 90 million Indians are suffering from some form of mental health disorder. However, due to the social stigma associated with this condition there is a reluctance to discuss the same in open and take appropriate measures to deal with it.
What are the signs of mental health disorders?
A list of inclusive but not exhaustive signs of mental health disorders are, abnormal eating habits, insomnia, fatigue, aloofness, lack of empathy, feeling of helplessness, substance abuse, mood swings, irritability, inability to carry out daily routine activities, etc.
There is a high probability that mental health disorders can worsen when these initial indicative signs are ignored.
Understanding the Importance of Mental Health
It is important to notice and consult a doctor if any of these signs persists for long. Once a proper diagnosis of mental illness has been ascertained through physical and psychological evaluations, and the type of illness and its severity is known, the right treatment can be followed at the earliest. Constant care and support along with proper guidance certainly helps. It’s important to consider that we all are different human beings, hence, what works for one person may not work for another. Hence proper medical consultation is essential to make the right diagnosis and get the right treatment protocol.
Health Insurance for Mental Health
Until recently, mental illness was an exclusion under most of the health insurance plans. However, following the passage of Mental Healthcare Act in 2017 and IRDAI directives to insurers to adhere to the same in terms of insurance coverage, the horizons of health insurance have widened to provide cover for mental healthcare also.
Mental illness can take many forms from the relatively mild to severe forms which may require prolonged treatment and hospitalization. In the former scenario, it may be necessary to opt for a comprehensive medical cover which includes outpatient treatment and in the latter case a policy which covers hospitalization may be sufficient.
It is recommended to choose a cover even if it is for therapy or counselling since the costs of independent treatment for mental health concerns, regardless of their severity, can be prohibitively expensive, and not everyone can afford it. Therefore, when selecting a health insurance provider, it is critical to select one that provides adequate coverage for mental health issues and related expenses as part of its health insurance plans.
-Authored by Mr. Subramanyam Brahmajosyula, Head – Reinsurance and Product Development, SBI General Insurance.
Download Money9 App for the latest updates on Personal Finance.