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Insurance Website Assists Australians with Experience of Mental Illness


22 February 2012 at 11:38 am
Staff Reporter
Australians with experience of mental illness now have a new website resource to turn to for assistance with insurance, through the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) and depression Not for Profit, beyondblue.

Staff Reporter | 22 February 2012 at 11:38 am


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Insurance Website Assists Australians with Experience of Mental Illness
22 February 2012 at 11:38 am

Australians with experience of mental illness now have a new website resource to turn to for assistance with insurance, through the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) and depression Not for Profit, beyondblue.

The Mental Health and Insurance Project (MHIP) website, which was developed in collaboration with representatives from the insurance and financial services sectors, aims to provide support to people with a mental illness in understanding their options when it comes to insurance.

MHCA says that Australians with experience of mental illness often face difficulties in accessing insurance policies or making claims against insurance policies as a result of their mental illness and are often unaware of their rights and responsibilities in relation to insurance applications and claims.

It says that the new website contains information on mental illness and insurance, including the relationship between mental illness and specific insurance products, consumer legal rights and responsibilities, the disability legislative structure that governs the insurance industry and consumer avenues for complaints and appeals.

A key feature of the MHIP website is the Tell Your Story portal, which allows visitors to share their experiences with others.

MHCA says that the website builds on the findings of the MHCA/ beyondblue 2011 report, Mental Health, Discrimination and Insurance: A survey of consumer experiences 2011, which captured the experiences of Australians living with mental illness when accessing insurance products.

In the report, respondents reported a lack of awareness of their rights and responsibilities with insurance applications and claims.

MHCA and beyondblue say that new the one-stop online portal will “improve knowledge and awareness of insurance practices for mental health consumers and their carers”.

You can access the Mental Health and Insurance Project website here. 



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One comment

  • Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Just attempting to tackle this weighty, complex subject is laudable. Arguably, exploration of the way that mental illness is positioned within legal and other frameworks is vital to any genuine attempt to help consumers help themselves. Many of us have been overwhelmed by structural constraints and the inherent paradoxes within systems. I can vouch for the premise that sometimes, absurdly, lawyers can seem to be acting in adversarial ways towards the very consumers they have been engaged to represent. Allegiances, perhaps, are split partly due to the nature of the commercial contract. The commercial concerns of the legal firm, and even the dictates of legislation itself, often seem to be in opposition to the needs of the client, and a certain prejudice reveals itself. As a result, consumers can ultimately feel they have only their own often rapidly depleting resources to rely on to navigate the system that increasingly reveals itself as a Pandora’s Box. This can be overpowering and all-consuming, denying any chances of improvement in health status. Indeed, exhaustion, mistrust, paranoia, and a sense that justice has been miscarried, can result in extreme deterioration of mental health.

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