TAL launches white paper on mental health and life insurance to support positive, sustainable change into the future

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Leading Australian life insurer, TAL, has launched a white paper aimed at stimulating stakeholder and life insurance industry discussions on mental health support, mental health policy, and the role the life insurance industry can play in supporting and engaging Australians who experience mental health conditions.

Developed by TAL’s Health Services Team, the white paper aims to leverage the experiences and learnings from the life insurance industry, both locally and globally, to help inform stakeholders who develop and shape mental health support across Australia. Specifically, the white paper seeks to encourage greater life insurance industry, Government and community alignment and collaboration on mental health support for the millions of customers we serve.

TAL Group CEO, Brett Clark, said, “Through this white paper we are seeking to contribute to the important discussions currently being had on mental health, including the role service providers, and in particular life insurers, can play in better supporting Australians in managing their mental health.

“This white paper takes a ‘whole of environment’ approach and examines factors ranging from mental health terminology, diagnosis, and treatment, to the way we are designing products, addressing support, and delivering prevention initiatives.

“The importance of maintaining mental health has been brought into sharp focus over the last year, as evidenced by the Australian Government’s additional investment in and support for the mental health of Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“TAL is committed to continuing to invest in our ability to support positive mental health outcomes for our customers and the community.”

TAL was the first insurer to introduce a dedicated Head of Mental Health, whose role includes informing product development and practices and ensuring they reflect evolving clinical best-practice.

TAL Head of Mental Health, Glenn Baird, said the white paper summarises TAL’s insights in relation to the way insurers can better support and engage with individuals who are experiencing mental health challenges in Australia.

“It’s crucial that insurers are both aware of and prepared for potential changes in regulation, ongoing community expectations and changes to mental health funding models. The comorbidity of mental health conditions with other conditions is significant. Life insurers and other stakeholders need to take this into account in the design of support and prevention programs.”, Mr Baird said.

“Getting this right for the future starts with meaningful engagement with the community, customers, regulators, Government and industry.

“TAL established a Mental Health Action Group in 2018 to bring together leading external mental health experts, including those with lived experience of mental health conditions, to drive positive change across product, underwriting and claims processes.

“Through that initiative and partners such as the University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre, some of this work is already well underway. Broader industry and stakeholder alignment would support sustainable change into the future and this white paper has been developed to facilitate that engagement. 

Read the white paper.

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