Young people are increasingly seeking out digital healthcare services to tackle mental health issues, according to data from insurer AIG Life.
The data shows demand for mental health help among members of the insurer’s group risk schemes via its wellbeing service is on the increase.
It’s Smart Health service delivered by Teladoc Health saw demand for appointments with mental health psychologists leap in the first quarter of the year when the UK was in lockdown.
Over 350 people have had more than 900 mental health consultations between January and March – equivalent to more than half of the demand that the service saw in the whole of 2020.
The data also indicates younger people and women are most likely to ask for help. More than half (57%) of those seeking consultations were aged 18-35 and with 5% under 18, while 63% of appointments were for women.
Commenting on the data, AIG Life managing director of group protection Lee Lovett (pictured) said: “Rarely has the threat of disease occupied so much of our thinking.
“We have become conditioned and reliant upon maintaining social distancing, on avoiding contact and planning our journeys within a demarcated boundary as a protective measure.
“But now on the cusp of reintegration, many will have been psychologically scarred by the fear and worry of the pandemic.”
Lovett noted that this will have left people’s emotional resilience for coping with the new thought of contact risks significantly reduced.
“This could manifest as fears for the commute, for sitting in the office space, for venturing into built up heavily populated areas again, and leaving behind the one constant that has provided security – home,” he continued.
“We should expect that people are going to feel anxiety and need mental health support.”