APEX InsightsInsurance > Mending mental illness

31 May 2016

Mending mental illness

Awareness of mental illness is growing in Australia. But with prevailing misconceptions and general associations of stigma.

Did you know that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide? Here in Australia, it’s estimated that 45 per cent of those aged 16-85 have experienced a mental disorder at some point in their life, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

A significant percentage of these disorders relate to anxiety and depression, which affect around 2 million and 1 million Australians each year, respectively.

While many of these conditions could be treated effectively, only about a third of people (34.9 per cent) with a mental health disorder report using health services for their mental health problem, according to the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007.

This highlights the enormous opportunity for people with mental illnesses to improve the quality of their lives by taking action.

Mental illness can be highly treatable

Treatments for mental illnesses can vary significantly, but many can improve both mental and physical wellbeing. For example, some of the common treatments for depression are:

  • Psychological treatments to change negative thinking patterns (e.g. cognitive behaviour therapy)
  • Medical treatments to help moderate episodes of severe depression (e.g. antidepressant medication)
  • Lifestyle changes to help reduce stress and boost your self-esteem (e.g. improving diet/exercise habits and reducing consumption of caffeine/alcohol).

Every person is different, so an important part of the treatment process is learning about an individual condition and gaining the knowledge and tools to manage it successfully.

What support is available?
If you think someone you know suffers from mental illness, these websites may be able to help:

You can’t predict, but you can protect

Although you can’t predict the future, you can protect your clients against the financial impact of unexpected mental illnesses with the right type and level of insurance cover.

Our claims team is here to work with you to work towards the best outcome for your clients. They’re with you from start to finish and can personalise the communication process to suit your needs – let us know how we can work with you. We also request information up front and offer tele services for income protection and trauma claims to ensure they are processed faster.

In 2014, OnePath paid more than $100 million in income protection benefits to 2955 Australians. A significant percentage of these claims (19 per cent of female claims and 11 per cent of male claims) related to psychiatric conditions.

 


Related Articles


 

This material is intended for the use of financial advisers only and is distributed by OnePath Life Limited (OnePath Life) (ABN 33 009 657 176, AFSL 238341).

The information, opinions and conclusions in articles ("information") are current as at the date articles are written as specified within but are subject to change. The articles are provided and issued by OnePath Life unless another author is specified in the article, in which case it is provided and issued by that author. The views expressed are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of OnePath Life, its employees or directors. Whilst care has been taken in preparing this material, OnePath Life and its related entities do not warrant or represent that the information is accurate or complete. To the extent permitted by law, OnePath Life and its related entities do not accept any responsibility or liability from the use of the information.

The information is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account a potential or existing investor’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Investors should consider whether the information is appropriate for them having regard to their objectives, financial situation or needs. For any product referred to above, OnePath Life recommends that investors read any relevant offer document or product disclosure statement and consider if the product is appropriate to them. For products issued by OnePath Life, these documents are available at www.onepath.com.au.

Past performance is not indicative of future performance and any case study shown is for illustrative purposes only. Neither are a prediction of the actual outcomes which will be achieved. Where tax or technical information is included, the information is our interpretation of the law and does not represent tax advice. An investor is advised to obtain professional advice relevant to their individual circumstances.