Record numbers become mentally ill while travelling

Lanzarote, SpainLanzarote, Spain.Photo: Lise Åserud / SCANPIX (FRB)

Last year, there was a significant increase in young people suffering from severe mental illness abroad, according to European Travel Insurance.

There were record numbers between the ages of 21 and 40 who had a serious mental illness whilst traveling in 2018. The insurance companany claims payments increased fivefold compared to the previous year.

“We had a number of very serious illnesses in need of admissions and repatriation with medical staff present,” says communications consultant Gunhild Gjølstad in European Travel Insurance.

The insurance company believes that the sharp increase is due to the fact that many travel more and more, and that more people are trying to escape from something. In several cases, abuse of alcohol and intoxication is part of the picture.

Most of those who become severely mentally ill on their trip , have a previous history of illness or something that is latent before they leave, says nurse and injury manager Line Sørbø.

The company emphasizes that their insurance policies only apply to illnesses that occur unexpectedly and acutely. This means that if one is sick at the time of departure, one can risk a reduction of any injury payment .

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today