"Mental health is a spectrum and requires a more holistic and tailored approach, with a multi-disciplinary team, not a one-size-fits-all solution."

At a Policy Briefing on 14 October, the FSC and KPMG released a joint research paper that explores the body of evidence supporting the role psychosocial factors play in mental health conditions. 

Here, event speaker Hoa BuiPartner in Charge, Actuarial & Financial Risk KPMG Australia shares her top 5 takeaways from the event.


1. We need to better understand mental health and the spectrum in order to intervene effectively.

2. Mental health is a spectrum and requires a more holistic and tailored approach, with a multi-disciplinary team, not a one-size-fits-all solution.

3. Australia is leading the world in having this (constructive conversation) between the stakeholders in mental health. Other countries haven’t started this process yet! Despite this, there is much to do. Only 40 per cent of our data can tell us the breakdown of mental health into the second order classification ('F0 to F99') - that means 60 per cent is still unknown.

4. Although 'ICD-10 (Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders) Level 2' gives much better information, we need to consider how we can improve it and capture psychosocial conditions, rather than the medical diagnosis:

  • We need even better data collection and analysis for conditions caused by psychosocial factors, the assistance we give people may be very different to the severe, chronic conditions like bipolar disorders.
  • We need to consider changing our whole approach to insurance in the current environment if we are going to make a difference to the mental conditions. It may be redefining what is it that we insure - the income or the person.
  • Framing the conversation more positively with the legal profession, as well as the medical profession.

5. The collection of psychosocial data at underwriting time needs to be carefully socialised and discussed with stakeholders and also handled sensitively, so that our customers don’t find it too invasive. There is clearly an opportunity to redefine the whole customer experience at the same time as addressing these issues.

Next steps: The FSC data collection will require cause of claim as a mandatory field from this year’s collection, so we hope to receive more extensive data to work with in future.

Also, we will be doing a catch-up study on claims up to 2018 for all Disability income and Lump sum claims across all distribution channels (9 years’ worth of data, 'LS 2013-2018 and DI 2016-2018'). This will also give a lot of insights into mental health claims.


To download a copy of the paper, see here.

To download the media release, see here

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