Group protection could help prevent suicide: Grid

Group protection could help prevent suicide: Grid

The group-risk industry has said some of the services available through group protection policies could help employees having suicidal thoughts.

Following World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September, the group risk industry body Group Risk Development (Grid) has called on employers to make use of the “full suite” of services available through these policies.

While Grid said some of the features of group policies could “be a vital lifeline for individuals who are having suicidal thoughts, have mental health problems or who are suffering with intolerable stress, anxiety or depression”.

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However, Grid stated some of these services were not “well enough understood or communicated by employers”.

Among these services, Grid included rehabilitation support to improve employees’ health, which it said often came with policies providing long-term illness protection.

The group also pointed out “employee assistance programmes” were often attached to group-risk products, offering employees professional counselling and practical advice and support on issues such as debt management, relationship problems or health matters.

Graeme McColgan, a financial planner with Million Plus Financial Planning, agreed that many employers were not aware of all the services offered in a grou- risk policy.

This was particularly the case with employers who were doing it alone. Mr McColgan said: “If they take advice they tend to be more on top of it.”

He urged employers to review their policies to make sure they were taking full advantage of the services they had paid for.