Mental health and travel. How the FCO – and World First - can help.
As medical travel insurance specialists we are often asked to cover people with mental health conditions. And we are very pleased to be able to say that we cover many psychological conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and mental instability when declared to us and accepted as part of the medical screening process. We are also able to cover autism and Down's syndrome and often do.
Just because you might not be able to see it, doesn’t mean it won’t affect the way you travel. So it’s extremely important to be able to know that if anything happens when you are away you will be able to get the help you need. And often mental health conditions require treatment and emergency medical assistance just like any other illness or accident. And as long as you have cover, we’ll do all we can to help.
This week the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) released a statistic that will be shocking to many. And that is the fact that, between 2009 and 2014 the number of British nationals with mental health needs requiring help from the FCO increased by 48% globally. As a result the FCO have recently been focussing their efforts on making sure that British travellers are aware of the risks travel can pose to those with mental health issues and what they can do to avoid them.
The resulting campaign, “Mind How You Go” gives lots of detailed advice on how to stay safe, what the FCO can do to help and what people with mental health issues can do to help themselves. Their comprehensive guide Foreign travel advice for people with mental health needs is comprehensive in its approach and offers lots of practical advice, with some also given for people who are concerned about someone they know.
They have also created a simple infographic (above) detailing a few things to think about before you travel if you have mental health issues.
Travel insurance advice – it won’t cost the earth
If we were to add any advice to that already provided by the FCO it would be to declare all medication and conditions to us when you buy your travel insurance. If you became ill due to a condition that was pre-existing and that you had failed to inform us of, then your cover could be invalid. So don’t keep anything from us when you get your quote. Our travel insurance cover for people with mental health issues can be surprisingly cheap. That’s because we are medical travel insurance specialists and cover 1000s of conditions. Our underwriters understand the risks medical conditions can present to our customers, so our medical screening is detailed enough to understand your condition and how it may affect the way you travel.
If we can't help? We know someone who can
However, there may be some cases where we can’t help. In which case we know people who can. The most important thing is declaring your conditions. From there we can make sure you get the cover you need.