The Tomorrow Project bus

We are really proud and excited to announce that as of today we will have our TP message on the back of the number one NCT bus!!!

Huge thanks to Nottingham City Transport for collaborating and fully funding the bus which will run along the number 1 route of the Navy line from Nottingham City Centre to Loughborough, via Clifton, Gotham and East Leake.

We have worked so hard for this project to become a reality and it fills us all with such happiness to see this take shape. By having our message on a main line bus means we will be able to reach people in distress, who we have never been able to reach before. Ultimately this means we can save more lives.

Suicide remains a socially taboo subject, with The Tomorrow Project bus we are doing even more to pave the way on challenging the stigma in this field.

An estimated 1 in 20 people contemplate suicide every year, thoughts of suicide are far more common than we might like to believe with attempts 40-100 times more common than deaths by suicide. It may seem small; our message on the back of a bus, but actually this will be reaching someone and could save a life. We couldn’t be more proud.

If you see our bus on route please share a photo on social media! We can’t wait to see them.

 

Drop-in dates

Our sessions are friendly and welcoming. We create a relaxed atmosphere with approachable staff who provide important information explaining how our service can support you, your friends and family or a colleague. We can offer information or advice about any concerns you may have around self harm.

You will have the opportunity to meet Val our experienced and qualified therapist, and Colin, our experienced and friendly project worker.

All drop-in sessions will take place at:
1 Beech Avenue, Sherwood Rise, Nottingham, NG7 7LJ.

To speak to our friendly team:

Phone: 0115 880 0280

Email: info@harmless.org.uk

People with mental illnesses refused access to insurance cover

Insurers have been accused of depriving access to life insurance and other kinds of cover to people with depression and anxiety, even for physical conditions unrelated to their mental health.

People who have suffered even mild mental health conditions or one-off episodes say they have been refused life insurance altogether, aggravating their financial insecurity.

Dozens of complainants have been in touch with the Guardian about the alleged discrimination. Charities and campaigners described the findings as “extremely worrying” and showed that insurers were operating based on an outdated understanding of mental illness.

In some cases, insurers appear to base their refusal on long-distant episodes of depression or anxiety, or when customers admit to having had suicidal thoughts or self-harming noted on their medical records. These customers are then allegedly deemed unsuitable to insure even for circumstances where death is not linked to a mental condition.

One refused applicant was a victim of the 7 July 2005 London bombings who experienced post-traumatic stress disorder. She described being turned down as “upsetting” and “worrying”, saying it showed ignorance about mental illness.

“I can see it from the perspective of the insurance company; they are not going to want to provide cover for mental health related issues to someone who has had mental health problems. But I was surprised to be rejected for any coverage at all, particularly given my otherwise good health,” she added.

Others say they were penalised after attending one or two grief counselling sessions following a family death, leading to rocketing premiums.

Charities warned that gaps in the law mean customers have little protection against this form of prejudice.

“The difficulty is that the only protection available is to people who are disabled under the Equality Act and even then there are certain exemptions for insurance business,” said Michael Henson-Webb, head of legal at mental health charity Mind.

“The current definition of disability under that Act doesn’t cover everyone with a mental health problem and makes it difficult for individuals with mental health problems and their legal advisers to clearly determine their rights.”.

Laura Peters, advice manager at Rethink Mental Illness, said: “What is judged as ‘high risk’ seems to be based on an increasingly outdated understanding of mental illness. This viewpoint is resulting in people … being disproportionately penalised for their condition with eye-watering premiums or flat out rejection. Life and health insurance can be a vital safety net.”

“It feels to me wholly inappropriate and discriminatory. This is something that the government needs to investigate as a matter of urgency. We need to get a fundamental review of these policies,” he said.

The Guardian heard from dozens of people about the matter. Many of them were rejected for life insurance but others had problems getting health or travel insurance. They said the reason for their refusal had not been made clear but many said the only probable cause was their mental health record.

Many believed they were turned down because of having suicidal thoughts or self-harming noted in their medical records, but others said they were told to apply again at a later date due to having had a recent diagnosis.

The suspicion is that insurers are cherry-picking customers to minimise risk and boost the bottom line.

Henson-Webb said: “Some insurers are operating with a total lack of transparency. That so many people seem none the wiser as to why they have been declined insurance means they aren’t being given information about how decisions have been made.

“It looks as though some insurers are making crude assessments such as the ‘three strikes’ rule, which could amount to discrimination.”

One insurance broker, who asked to be anonymous, said: “Some insurers target different markets and like ‘clean lives’. It sounds awful but they are hard-nosed businesses.”

He added: “My wife looked to apply for new cover recently and she had gone to her GP about work-related stress and the insurer automatically increase the premium. How many people go through work related stress? I thought that was ludicrous.”

Another respondent, 27-year-old Cara Lisette from Hampshire, said that she had been denied cover but at the same time her partner who had an eye condition had been accepted with exceptions put in place. “This seems unfair, that he can get cover that excludes his condition but I cannot get the same,” she said.

A lot of those who responded said that discrimination had made them wary of getting further treatment.

Insurers say applications for life insurance go through careful assessment and are evidence based. They say that when dealing with customer’s with mental health problems they ask questions such as how long it has lasted and how it has been treated. They also ask about any time off work or suicide attempts. Insurers acknowledge that in a small number of cases, mental health backgrounds may result in a premium loading or exclusion, or in the most severe cases, a refusal to offer cover.

A spokesman for Royal London said: “Most mental health conditions are mild or self-limiting, and as a result we are able to offer standard rates to more than 90% of customers who inform us of their condition.”

An Aviva spokesperson said: “We take our responsibility to comply with the Equality Act 2010 very seriously. The Act includes special rules that permit insurers to assess customers individually and to offer acceptance terms at the standard rate, at an increased premium or to refuse to offer cover based upon each individual applicant’s risk.

“We do not refuse to offer cover or offer cover on different terms to people with a disability, unless there is statistical evidence the condition presents a higher risk than for someone who does not have a history of the condition.”

Link to full blog: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/19/people-with-mental-illnesses-refused-access-to-insurance-cover

 

Happy New Year to everyone, whoever you are and wherever you are.

Happy New Year to everyone, whoever you are and wherever you are. As we said yesterday we understand that the New Year is a difficult time of year for many. It can mark a passing of time and when people feel hopeless about the future, this can exacerbate feelings of hopelessness and desperation. Over 2018 we promise to keep working hard to keep people safe and help them to feel as though, no matter how bad things are, there is always someone there for them – someone who can help and support.

As we enter 2018, we ask you to support us. We know that we will face challenges, as each of us will, but as a service we are also hopeful that we will work around the clock to make this a successful year. No matter how hard things get, we will be here for you and will find a way to help everyone who asks us for it.

Happy New Year Everyone and thank you for all your support over the last year. We hope we can all make you proud in 2018.

 

 

If you are in crisis and need some support right now please call the Samaritans on 116 123, or call Hopeline on 0800 068 41 41. If you would like support from ourselves, feel free to email us and we will get in touch in the New Year.

CHEER FOR HARMLESS

As part of the #CheerForGood campaign partnership between Neighbourly and Starbucks, supporting local community organisations. There are 120 charities across the UK competing for 2K. The top 30 charities who #Cheer the loudest will win a grant of 2K!!!

For a small charitable organisation (only 16 of us!) this is a HUGE amount of money. For an idea how huge… £25 is the cost of one therapeutic session that could save someone’s life.

To help us win please like, share, post, re tweet, Tweet and comment! Any social media activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and  Neighbourly will increase our cheer score!

The more people supporting us the more lives are saved. So if you believe in saving lives please cheer for us!

#CheerForGood #HarmlessUK #Nottingham 

Thank you!

A huge thank you for the amazing support for #CheerForGood #HarmlessUK Starbucks campaign so far!

This is part of the #CheerForGood campaign partnership between Neighbourly and Starbucks, supporting local community organisations. There are 120 charities across the UK competing for 2K. The top 30 charities who #Cheer the loudest will win!

For a small charitable organisation (only 16 of us!) this is a HUGE amount of money. For an idea how huge… £25 is the cost of one therapeutic session that could save someone’s life.

To help us win please like, share, post, re tweet, Tweet and comment! Any social media activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and  Neighbourly will increase our cheer score!

The more people supporting us the more lives are saved. So if you believe in saving lives please cheer for us!