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1 in 3 appointments via Unum’s Help@hand service mental health related — but fewer men seek help

By: Mark Till, CEO of Unum UK.

  • 36% of Help@hand appointments in the last year requested attributed to mental ill health
  • 25% of appointments for anxiety, stress and depression – topping the list of most common reason employees seek help
  • Men 30% less likely to request mental health appointments than women – despite parity across other Help@hand services

Following World Mental Health Day, findings from employee benefits provider Unum have highlighted the impact that mental ill health is having on the nation.

Mental health concerns are now the leading reason for employees booking appointments via Help@hand, Unum’s health and wellbeing app, now accounting for over one third (36%) of all appointments requested via the service between January and August this year.

And more than 25% of Help@hand appointments are related to either anxiety or stress – the two most common reasons attributed by users for their appointment request.

The findings paint a worrying picture of the nation, suggesting that thousands of employees across the UK may be struggling with their mental health as we head towards the end of the calendar year.

While a national study conducted by Samaritans found 2 in 5 men reporting their mental health as negatively impacted by lockdown1, the findings from Unum suggest men are 30% less likely to book a mental health appointment via their Help@hand service than women.

Despite men and women being equally vulnerable to mental ill health, men are seemingly still less likely to reach out for support when they may need it. This isn’t the case for Help@hand’s other services, however — men account for 47% and 51% of remote GPs and physiotherapy appointment bookings, respectively.

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Regardless of gender, more than 98% of individuals who reached out to access mental health support via Help@hand suggested that their healthcare professional had dealt with their concern. This stands as a proof point of the positive impact that accessing professional medical support and advice can have in supporting employees and their loved ones.

Help@hand provides fast, direct access to five key health and wellbeing services through one easy-to-use app including remote GPs, mental health support, physiotherapy, medical second opinions and an integrated Employee Assistance Programme.

Mark Till, CEO of Unum UK, commented: “Despite lockdown restrictions lifting, it’s concerning that over one third of all appointments requested by employees for our Help@hand service are for mental health concerns.

“Thousands of individuals request appointments every month via Help@hand, and we’re pleased and proud that more than 98% of people who access our mental health support via the app say that their healthcare professional dealt with their concern.

“However, so much more needs to be done to keep the conversation going around mental health — especially around the stigma that still too often exists with men. Despite this, these findings highlight just how important having fast, direct access to mental health professionals exactly when people need it. It can make such a huge difference, and we’re proud to be able to provide that to employees and their families via Help@hand.”


Real People, Real Stories launches with new research on men’s mental health during lockdown | Samaritans

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