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Mental health issues following a personal injury

View profile for Pauline Smith
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Stressed, anxious, worried, depressed? Does any of this sound familiar? It is estimated that at any time one in ten of us is experiencing some kind of imbalance in our mental health. Thankfully, mental health awareness has moved on in leaps and bounds over the years, and this is no longer the taboo subject that it once was. 

What brings on mental illness? 

Sometimes, unfortunately this is just part of a person’s psychological make up, and they have to manage to deal with this their whole lives. Sometimes stressful events lead to development of depression, stress and anxiety. This can be anything from a bereavement, to pressure at work, to moving house etc.

But what if you find that you have always been a “coper”, and then unforeseen events happen which alter your outlook and even your way of life? Here, within the personal injury team at Stephensons, we recognise that injuries resulting from an accident, even if they are not considered to be “life changing” can have a detrimental effect on a person from a psychological perspective. 

By way of example, imagine a person who has always worked hard in a manual occupation, now suffering from physical injuries which mean that they can no longer carry out their job, and perhaps having to totally rethink how they will support themselves and their family. Maybe they will have to retrain, or now only work part time? What effect would that accident have on this person, not only having to deal with recovering from their physical injuries, but now faced with the anxious prospect of their income being reduced, and feeling let down, and that they are letting others down? What burden would that place upon that person’s mental health?

In our team we deal with all types of accident claims, from the person who has been scarred for life by a dog attack, to those who have been subject to assault, to those who have suffered life changing injuries in a car accident, amongst many others. The physical injuries from an accident may heal over time, but the psychological effects should never be overlooked or swept under the carpet. Our team know that it is just as important to ask our clients about the effects of an accident on their working, home and social life from a psychological perspective, rather than just seeking compensation for their physical injuries. And for those affected, there are good psychiatric experts out there, who can diagnose a downturn in someone’s mental health and make recommendations for appropriate treatment. Stephensons have access to those experts.

Thankfully, we are no longer told to “get on with things”, and there is the help out for those who need it. Things are changing for the better, and there are many organisations such as Mind, The Samaritans, and The Mental Health Foundation who can provide good advice, along with your own GP.

So if you have been injured in an accident, and aren’t quite feeling like yourself anymore, don’t be afraid to speak to your solicitor – it might not be all in your head. Call us on 01616 966 229