How to manage mental health


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How to manage mental health during times of stress without self-medicating

Feeling overwhelmed is natural during the COVID-19 pandemic, but experts warn ‘self-medication’ to cope with stress could have a longer-lasting impact on our mental health.

The stress of the pandemic fhas led to increased ‘self-medication’ with tobacco, alcohol, banned substances, and addictive hobbies, such as shopping and gambling, being particularly popular amongst high net worth individuals. According to premium health insurer Bupa Global, in its Executive Wellbeing Index, 52% of high net worth individuals worldwide were using alcohol, drugs, or gambling to help them cope with poor mental health during the pandemic[i].

‘People with differing mental health difficulties self-medicate with alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs, and over the counter medicine,’ Dr Pablo Vandenabeele, Bupa Global’s Clinical Director for mental health, states. ‘This can be done for different reasons such as targeting a particular symptom such as sleep or as a form of temporary relief from distressing emotional experiences.’

This is probably a stressful time for all of us, but it’s important to stop the cycle, change our habits and learn to manage stress so we can protect ourselves and those around us. Figures from Bupa Global’s Index have shown that 31% of high net worth individuals delayed seeking help due to the pandemic, and worryingly, 32% felt they couldn’t talk to anyone about their mental health problems, so they self-medicated instead.

If you feel that you are unable to cope with the levels of stress and anxiety that you are experiencing, then it’s vital that you get professional help as soon as possible.


At Bupa Global, our purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives. We recognise that mental health is just as important as physical health and believe in helping people to feel their best and stay that way too. To support this, we have removed both annual and monetary limits across plans for in-patient and day-patient mental health treatment (up to the annual maximum limit of your chosen plan).

Bupa Global helps give you peace of mind, both at home and wherever in the world you choose to be treated, within your area of cover.


For more information about Bupa Global premium health plans visit bupaglobal.com/withyou or talk to our Private Client team today on 0371 346 0407.


Calls may be recorded. Bupa Global is a trading name of Bupa Insurance Limited and Bupa Insurance Services Limited. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Bupa Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

[i] Bupa Global Executive Wellbeing Index (September 2020). Research conducted among 450 high net worth individuals and senior executives across UK, France, USA, UAE and Egypt. 52% of global HNWIs who struggled with their mental health have used drugs, alcohol or gambling to cope with this during the pandemic.

Please read the full article on Bupa Global.

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