Mental health services experience higher demand since end of pandemic

Vhi, Ireland’s leading health insurance provider, today released new data highlighting the rising levels of demand for mental health services in Ireland.

According to recent data, there has been a 15% increase in the number of members accessing private psychiatric care in 2022, with Vhi paying out over €73.6 million in claims for private psychiatric claims in 2022, which is a significant increase on the pre-pandemic figure of €66.5 million in 2019.

Data has also shown that there’s been a 28% increase in mental health services accessed by members under the age of 30. The majority of members under the age of 30 accessed care remotely through psychiatric hospitals.

Under this demographic, it was shown that more women than men are accessing the tools they need to manage their mental health. Continuing on the worrying trend of men possibly neglecting their mental health.

Some of the top reasons for people accessing mental health services have been general stress, managing relationships, bereavement, and also anything that falls under the umbrella of work-related stress.

For younger people, the most recent data concludes that some of the biggest stressors for youth aged 18 -24 was school, exams, and homework.

Anne O’Connor, Managing Director, Vhi Health & Wellbeing, said, “Our research reveals a significant increase in the number of Vhi members accessing mental health services since the onset of the pandemic. In addition, an increasing number of members are benefitting from digital mental health support services, such as Vhi Positive Mind, an offering from Vhi designed to provide seamless access to services when patients need them most.

“With the demand for services growing, timely access to care will be crucial in creating better wellbeing and health outcomes among the population. That is why we’ve been pioneering a new model of healthcare in Ireland, which takes a holistic, 360 view of our member’s health. This includes the development of a range of personalised clinical programmes and support services, designed to improve your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

“While more adults are prioritising mental health and wellbeing in their daily lives, leaders and employers can continue to do more to make mental health a priority in the workplace. By bringing together clinical experts and senior leaders to mark World Mental Health Day, we can all champion mental health in the workplace and better support wellbeing for a healthy, resilient workforce in a rapidly evolving world of work.”

For more information on Vhi’s Mental Health services, please visit: https://www1.vhi.ie/members/mental-health

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