Bupa UK has unveiled the second phase of its “Is It Normal?” brand campaign, which focuses on mental health.
The campaign is designed to help UK adults who have put off seeking help, after “months of distress” brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bupa said.
A spokesman said the campaign aims to encourage people to seek support for mental health by offering reassurance that everyone has their own version of what is ‘normal’.
It comes as research by Bupa UK found that 82% of adults experienced at least one symptom of poor mental health during lockdown yet just one in twenty (5%) sought help from a medical professional.
The poll of 2,000 UK adults by Opinium Research earlier this year found that four in ten (44%) told no one that they were struggling, twice 2019 rates.
The spokesman said that “new mental health issues” have developed as a result of the pandemic and “existing mental health problems” have been exacerbated.
However, one in five adults with a condition (19%) plan to hold off seeking help until things are ‘back to normal’, the spokesman said.
Bupa UK’s own customer data shows that while demand for its mental health self-referral service, Mental Health Direct Access, has increased 31% since the start of the year, during the peak of lockdown those seeking help almost halved with many worried about visiting a clinic or hospital in person.
David Hynam, CEO, Bupa Global & UK, said the toll of the pandemic on mental health has been “high” and as a healthcare provider Bupa “must continue to think long term to address the impact on the nation’s mental health”.
He said: “All too often people don’t know where to turn, what help is available to them or how to access it.
“One of the biggest issues in mental health is people not getting help early enough. Early diagnosis is proven to significantly improve outcomes and we really encourage people to seek help at the right time.”
The advert is the latest phase of Bupa’s ‘Is It Normal?’ campaign, which launched in January 2020 to tackle stigma around mental health, while encouraging people to seek support and advice for themselves and those close to them.
Bupa UK has expanded its range of remote services available to its insurance customers with “Bupa From Home” designed to help customers stay in control of their physical and mental health from home with access to nurses, doctors and mental health therapists, removing any barriers or fears that may be caused by visiting a hospital or clinic in person.