International rugby star Jonny Wilkinson is heading up a new mental health campaign highlighting the fine line between feeling ok and overwhelmed.

With the Rugby World Cup underway in Japan, the England and British and Irish Lions hero has become an ambassador for a campaign launched by our partner Vitality. Jonny has shared some of his own personal challenges around mental health in a bid to encourage people to seek support when they need it.

His involvement comes as the Rugby Players’ Association calls for urgent action to be taken to protect players’ mental wellbeing and coincides with many players feeling under pressure with the tournament attracting global focus. As part of the Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey, Vitality has found that around six in ten UK employees are experiencing work-related stress or depression and that this is most prevalent in workers aged under 25, who are most likely to suffer from depression.

Former England number 10 Wilkinson said: “I'm delighted to be working with Vitality again on an issue that is so important. Mental health affects everyone and I hope by talking about my own experiences and exploring one of the most challenging times in my life, I can help people reach out and seek support when they need it.”

Vitality is one of our private medical insurance partners offering a unique and comprehensive approach to mental health cover with its VitalityHealth plan. Since introducing mental health cover in 2016, the health insurance provider has continued to develop the support and treatment options available to members, offering a range of positive mental wellbeing tools and solutions for daily life, as well as access to intensive support when needed.

Through Vitality, members can access online support, as well as cover for up to eight sessions of talking therapies such as counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy. Members can also use - and get rewards for - a number of meditation and mindfulness apps, while comprehensive cover for out-patient, in-patient and day-patient treatment is also a menu option.

Seb Hill, executive creative director for campaign creators BBD Perfect Storm said: “Jonny Wilkinson is a legend that people think is, and was, indestructible. This campaign shows that any of us can be affected by mental health, regardless of perceptions. It demonstrates the fine line between feeling well and overwhelmed. Vitality is not just talking about it, they’re acknowledging that mental wellbeing should be as accessible as physical health.”

When you take out health insurance with ActiveQuote, you can choose whether you want mental health cover to be included in your policy. Many providers now provide it as standard, while some of our partners specialise in bespoke mental health care, such as the new Bupa for You cover from Bupa.

You might also want to read our guide to improving your mental health or allow yourself to switch off and enjoy life in the slow lane every now and again!


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