Almost a billion people around the world live with poor mental health, and the ripple effects from this global crisis are far-reaching.
A new report from the Geneva Association, Promoting Peace of Mind: Mental health and insurance, examines the scale of the ongoing mental health crisis and the insurance industry’s role in promoting mental wellbeing to help address this growing societal challenge.
We were honored to be invited by the Geneva Association to participate in the creation of the report as a core technical advisor and contributor (Steve) and key information provider (Erin). At RGA, we work to promote holistic wellbeing – mental, physical, emotional, financial, and all other aspects of being human that affect our health and quality of life. We consider this report both an important acknowledgement of the potential impact the insurance industry can have in improving mental health treatment and outcomes and a global call to action to accelerate progress in fulfilling that potential.
Key takeaways from the report include:
- The scale of the mental health crisis is staggering and its toll on the economy, individuals, health systems, and insurers continues to increase.
- The COVID-19 pandemic and its ripple effects appear to have exacerbated an already widespread problem.
- The proportion of mental health-related claims is growing in many markets.
- Insurers are taking innovative steps to help address the problem, and the number of insurers that include mental health benefits in their offerings is rising.
- Digital health tools, telemedicine, talking therapies, and other approaches are providing new avenues to help treat and prevent mental health issues.
- Insurers can build on these promising innovations to improve the insurability and quality of life for people living with poor mental health using a three-step incremental framework:
- adopt a dedicated strategy for mental health
- engage customers to promote uptake of propositions and overcome stigma
- optimize critical insurance functions such as risk assessment
The main takeaway: The mental health crisis is significant and urgent, and harnessing the power of insurance is part of the solution.
RGA is a long-standing partner and supporter of the Geneva Association. We fully endorse the Association’s mission to advance the work of the insurance industry in building more resilient and prosperous economies and societies as we work to advance RGA’s own purpose to make financial protection accessible to all.