Mental health

If you’re in crisis and require immediate assistance, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or call 000.

What is mental health?

According to the World Health Organisation, mental health is ‘a state of wellbeing in which every individual can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community’. This emphasises a positive approach, encompassing both social and emotional wellbeing.

According to the Australian Government Department of Health, mental illness is defined as ‘a health problem that significantly affects how a person feels, thinks, behaves, and interacts with other people. It is diagnosed according to standardised criteria. The term mental disorder is also used to refer to these health problems’.

The distinction between these concepts is important because it shows it’s possible to experience positive or negative ‘mental health’ and ‘mental illness’ simultaneously, as shown in the Dual Continuum model of Mental Health:



Options to consider:

Misconceptions about mental health and life insurance

There's a widespread misconception that a current or past mental health diagnosis automatically disqualifies you from obtaining life insurance. The fact is, it depends on various factors such as the management of your condition, the treatments you're undergoing, and any symptoms you might have when you are going through the application process.

During your application assessment, we consider several things, including:

  • Any previous diagnoses you've had
  • The types of treatment you're currently receiving or have received in the past, like therapy or medications
  • How symptoms have impacted your work or study capabilities
  • The severity, duration and nature of your symptoms, and how they’re being managed
  • Your overall lifestyle and health, including work and your family medical history

Mental health conditions can evolve and change over time, potentially leading to new or recurring signs and symptoms. One mental health condition doesn't necessarily cause another, but there can be an increased risk of developing another condition. For example, anxiety disorders could be more common in individuals who have previously experienced depression.

Each customer is evaluated based on their individual circumstances. In some instances, there might be additional loadings or exclusions applied to a policy. However, in other cases, the condition might present minimal risk, allowing for cover without any extra charges or exclusions.

A diagnosis doesn’t define you

Self-management of symptoms is a common approach, but it can carry potential risks like inadequate care and worsening symptoms, potentially leading to a need for more extensive care in the future. Seeking professional help allows you to receive suitable and timely support and treatment, which may help prevent the condition from worsening over time.

While a diagnosis is crucial for receiving the right treatment, you might be reluctant to get professional help due to concerns that a diagnosis could label you or affect your insurance eligibility. We understand that navigating and recovering from a mental health condition is a complex journey that requires persistence and patience. Which is why, when you apply for insurance with us, we take your unique circumstances into account. Having a mental health diagnosis does not automatically disqualify you from obtaining insurance or making a claim down the line.

Are you grieving?

Grief is often associated with the death of a loved one, but it can encompass other experiences besides bereavement. Grief can arise from any significant loss or break in attachment. This could be due to the death of a close family member or friend, experiencing a relationship breakup, receiving a terminal illness diagnosis, feeling a loss of identity due to an inability to work, or losing financial stability or your lifestyle. Grief can impact your emotional state, thoughts, physical health, behaviour and social life.

To assist you through your grieving journey, our partnership with Assure programs can provide a specialised Grief Support service. This service is available to:

  • Immediate family members of someone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness or has passed away
  • Customers who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness

While grief is a natural response to loss, it can evolve into a mental health condition if it becomes prolonged. In such cases, you might find it helpful to seek professional support.

Going back to work

If you've made a claim on an Income Protection policy and require assistance in getting back to work, our Career Coaching service is designed to support you by:

  • Developing plans for your return to work
  • Conducting a career coaching assessment to discover suitable alternative occupations
  • Offering support in your job search
  • Facilitating introductions to potential employers and finding work trials
  • Providing access to training and certification courses for upskilling
  • Offering guidance and support for new business ventures

How we can offer you support during your claim

Making a claim on your life insurance usually means you're facing some challenging times. Whether it's coping with the loss of a loved one, being unable to work due to sickness or injury, or confronting a critical illness or permanent disability, it's likely to have a toll on your mental health.

You may be going through a variety of emotions, including grief, sadness, irritability, anger or ongoing frustration. These feelings may have a ripple effect on your family life, social interactions, and everyday responsibilities.

Our team is ready to support you to navigate these challenges when going through the claims process, as well as provide resources for mental health and assistance with transitioning back to work. Please call 1300 553 764 to speak with a Customer Service Representative.

Helpful resources

SANE is one of Australia's leading mental health organisations for individuals with complex mental health issues, and their supporting families and friends.

Lifeline provides round-the-clock crisis support and services aimed at preventing suicide. 

Mental Health Online offers a wide range of effective online services and programs at no cost.

Moodgym is an interactive tool designed to help you develop skills to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety.

What impact will making mental health claim have on my policy in future?

Our commitment is to ensure our customers receive financial support when they're unable to work and to aid in their overall wellbeing. Regardless of the specifics of your policy, if it includes cover for mental health conditions, you can count on our support should you need to make a claim. As previously mentioned, mental health conditions can change and are complex, and it's not uncommon for individuals to make more than one claim over the lifespan of their policy. Generally speaking*, if your policy provides cover for mental health conditions and pays a benefit until the age of 65, there’s no restriction on the number of claims you can make, even if it’s for the same condition. When you make a claim, we will help you understand your policy, what it covers, and assist you throughout the claims process.

*Individual policies vary, so it's important for customers to be familiar with the specific terms of their policy regarding claims and what is included or excluded in their cover.

Resources for caregivers of individuals with mental health conditions

We recognise that mental health conditions do not only impact the individuals diagnosed but also their caregivers and supporters.

Below are resources to aid you in finding the support you need while caring for your loved one:

Carer Gateway is an initiative by the Australian Government that offers a variety of tailored services and support to help caregivers navigate daily challenges, alleviate stress, and plan ahead.

SANE is one of Australia's leading mental health organisations for individuals with complex mental health issues, and their supporting families and friends.

Cancer Council offers advice and support specifically for individuals caring for someone with cancer.

Partners In Depression aims to support and provide information to those assisting someone dealing with mental health issues.

Contact us

Should you require additional information or advice on available support for mental health conditions or grief, please get in touch at 1300 553 764, 8.00am – 6.30pm (Sydney time).