Fin services must reduce mental health stigma

Speaking at the MetLife discussion panel, Margo Lydon, SuperFriend chief executive officer said the financial services industry needs to have an open conversation about mental health to reduce stigma.

“With a quarter suffering high stress and a third concerned about job security, financial services workers are a vulnerable group,” Lydon said.

“People need to be able to talk about what’s going on, they need support from leadership, and leaders themselves need training and resources.”

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Superfriend’s SuperMIND research also showed over a five-year period claims related to suicide collectively cost the industry over $200 million per annum, with an average cost per claim of $120,410.

Insurers and super funds were seeing an increase of mental health claims, but were advised not to overlook the wellbeing of their own people.

Mark Raberger, MetLife chief claims officer and panel facilitator, said training is important to help employees protect their own mental wellbeing.

“At MetLife, we’ve seen a substantial increase in Mental Health claims, with 25 per cent of our Income Protection and 21 per cent of our total and permanent disability claims having a primary mental health-related cause,” Raberger said.

“This has effectively doubled over the past six years and it is likely to continue to increase if we don’t take action.”

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