TAL has launched a white paper aimed at stimulating stakeholder and life insurance industry discussions on mental health support and policy and the role the life insurance industry can play in supporting those who experience mental health conditions.
A statement from the company says the white paper, developed by TAL’s Health Services Team, aims to leverage the learnings from the life insurance industry, both locally and globally, to help inform stakeholders who develop and shape mental health support across Australia.
The insurer says that 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, says that through the white paper the company is 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”.
He adds that the 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”.
Clark says the importance of maintaining mental health has been brought into focus over the last year as evidenced by the Government’s additional investment in the mental health of Australians during the pandemic.
…insights into the way insurers can better support and engage…
TAL Head of Mental Health, Glenn Baird, says 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,” he says.
“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 external mental health experts, including those with lived experience of mental health conditions, to drive positive change across product, underwriting and claims processes.
And Baird says that through this 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.”
Click here to download a copy of the white paper, click here.