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Suffering from physical health problems significantly increase our risk of developing mental health problems. It is reported that nearly one in three people with a long-term physical health condition also has a mental health problem, most often depression or anxiety*.

When thinking of personal injury, people will instantly think of physical injuries, such as broken bones, cuts, and bruises, but the emotional impact of being involved in an accident must also be considered. These are often just as debilitating, sometimes more so, than the physical injury.

Anxiety, stress, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are all common mental conditions suffered following an accident. This can be as a result of the trauma following the accident itself or because of the restrictions caused by your physical injury, struggling with the fact you are unable to do everyday things you enjoy, such as taking a walk with friends or playing with your children in the park. There are also worries about having to take time off work to recover and any financial impact this might have. It is not uncommon for these difficulties and worries to affect your mental health and lead to strains on relationships with those closest to you.

I believe the mental health of my clients is just as important as their physical health. This can be challenging, I find that a lot of people do not like to talk about their mental health due to embarrassment or feeling they just need to ‘soldier on’ and get through it. Because of this, some people are reluctant to seek help or support but it is important to seek that help and give yourself the best chance of recovering, not just physically but mentally.

I encourage my clients to talk to me about all their symptoms, not just the physical ones, but how they are feeling, any concerns they have, and how they are coping day to day with the challenges brought on by an ongoing physical injury. I will also take time to talk to family members and provide support and understanding.

Whilst I always advise my clients to seek support and rehabilitation from their own GP and other medical professionals, unfortunately, I also know treatment on the NHS can be delayed due to extensive waiting lists. I understand the detrimental effect this can have on my client’s recovery. I therefore attempt to secure early rehabilitation services and request from the defendant an agreement for immediate Initial Needs Assessments at the very outset of your claim.

These assessments help to highlight the ongoing difficulties my clients are facing early on, and recommendations are provided as to the most appropriate rehabilitation treatment, such as counselling or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. The cost of this treatment can then either be paid directly by a defendant or be included within your claim for compensation.

It is also possible to claim compensation for any psychological injury sustained as a result of your accident. Whilst this can be tricky, and defendants do on occasion argue that your mental health symptoms are as a result of other causes, we work with leading expert psychiatrist and psychologist to support any claim of psychological injury, obtaining supportive medical evidence and diagnoses.

Supporting my clients is hugely important and I understand the psychological impact being involved in an accident can have, together with the ongoing worries and anxiety which follows. I have experience in supporting clients through this challenging time and working with experts to ensure that my clients receive the best treatment and support.

*Mental Health Foundation