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AIA joins push for mental health reforms

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AIA has joined forces with not-for-profit group Australians for Mental Health to push for improvements to the health system.

The partnership will advocate for reform of the mental healthcare system.

AIA says the decision to partner with Australians for Mental Health forms part of its focus on promoting early intervention and prevention-based initiatives to reduce the incidences, severity and duration of chronic mental illness.

About 20% of Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental health condition in any given year while 54% who are diagnosed with it do not receive adequate support, according to AIA, citing statistics from the Black Dog Institute

Earlier this year the insurer released a health insights report that shows, among other things, the impact of psychological disorders on overall wellbeing.

The 5590+ report says mental health illness falls under non-communicable diseases, one of three broad causes of death and disability.

Mental wellbeing is essential for communities to thrive, yet an estimated one in five Australians is impacted by mental health conditions, with almost four million suffering from a chronic or episodic mental health condition each year, the report said.

“Traditionally, efforts to combat mental illness have focused on treatment and cure late in the course of illness, rather than on prevention or early intervention,” AIA CEO and MD Damien Mu said.

“AIA Australia believes that preventative interventions that promote mental wellbeing and reduce the risk of mental health conditions are vital for championing better outcomes for Australians.”

Australians for Mental Health Campaign Director Chris Raine welcomes the support from AIA.

“It is a courageous move for a company to invest in advocacy and we applaud AIA Australia for getting involved,” Mr Raine said.

“We look forward to working with this great organisation, so we can create a mental health system that will benefit all Australians.”

If you or someone you know needs support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

Click here for the 5590+ report.