AIA Australia awarded for its scaled mental health support during COVID-19

24 November 2021 dot 5 mins read
Melbourne, 24 November 2021. Leading life, health and wellbeing insurer AIA Australia has been recognised for the mental health support it has offered to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the recent Shared Value Project's annual awards, AIA Australia was awarded the Shared Value Project of the Year for its Mind Coach program. In addition to this award, AIA Australia's Head of Shared Value Partnerships, Simonie Fox, was named Shared Value Practitioner of the Year.
The Mind Coach program was developed in 2018 and is offered to all AIA Australia Income Protection claimants experiencing mental ill-health. The health coaching program is designed to help customers build their resilience, as well as their social and emotional functioning so that they can start to return to wellness. Customers experiencing anxiety or depression, either as a primary condition, or as a result of being unwell and off work for an extended period, are eligible for seven sessions with an allocated Mind Coach.
The insurer has seen a 40% increase in take up of the program since the pandemic and has referred over 1000 customers to date. When the program was first introduced, 60% of referrals were for customers who were on claim for a mental health condition, and 40% of referrals were for customers who were on claim for other conditions but who had developed a secondary mental health condition. In line with the beginning of the pandemic in Australia however, there was a reversal in this ratio. The insurer states that 70% of referrals have been for customers who were initially on claim for conditions other than mental health and have developed a secondary mental health condition during the pandemic.  
The Mind Coach program has achieved profound results. Almost 60% of customers begin the program with 'severe' symptoms, however more than 50% of customers finish feeling 'well' or have 'mild symptoms'. At the conclusion of the program, results indicate a 35% increase in the number of customers progressing to further wellness and return to work programs such as AIA Australia's occupational rehabilitation program which currently has a 78% return to work rate.
The Mind Coach program is delivered via telehealth and commences with an initial assessment to determine the customer's levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Following this, the Mind Coach will incorporate relaxation strategies and values-based exercises into a step-by-step action plan that the participant is encouraged to refer to throughout the course of the program and beyond.
At the conclusion of the program, a further wellbeing assessment is conducted. Customers deemed to require ongoing support will be referred to their local GP or connected with Medicare psychological services. The coach will also identify opportunities to refer the customer to another one of AIA Australia's mental health wellbeing programs, RESTORE, or return-to-work support.
Steve Spurr, Selection Committee Chair at the Shared Value Project said, "On behalf of the Selection Committee, I congratulate AIA Australia for the dynamic work you're doing in bringing business solutions to some of society's biggest challenges. In testament to the growth of the shared value movement, we received a record quantity and quality of award entries and nominations this year, making this award win all the more significant.
CEO and Managing Director of AIA Australia and New Zealand, Damien Mu said "We're humbled to receive recognition for the Mind Coach program as Shared Value Project of the Year. The MindCoach program is a shining real-life example of AIA Australia's purpose, the program makes a meaningful impact on people's lives, when they need it the most.
"I am proud of the resilience and commitment that our claims team has shown during the COVID-19 pandemic, referring over 1000 customers to the Mind Coach program is a true example of making a difference during difficult times. I'm also thrilled that Simonie Fox has been honoured with the award of Shared Value Practitioner of the Year. Simonie has been integral in the development of many of AIA Australia's wellbeing programs and this recognition is well deserved."
Contact:              Camille Hanton
                             Bastion Amplify
                             T: +61 431 180 475
About AIA Australia
AIA Australia is a leading life insurance specialist with over 48 years' experience and a commitment to help Australians live healthier, longer, better lives. In 2014 the company launched AIA Vitality, a world leading, science-based health and wellbeing program, to the Australian market. In July 2017, AIA and its partners launched AIA's health insurance business, now known as AIA Health Insurance.
In 2021, CommInsure Life was integrated into AIA Australia. The lives of more than 3.8 million Australians are protected and enhanced through AIA Australia's unique value proposition of life, health and wellbeing. Our vision is to embrace shared value in championing Australia and New Zealand to be the healthiest and best protected nations in the world.
AIA Australia has been recognised with multiple awards, including the Women in Finance Employer of the Year Award (2018, 2019), Super Review's Best Insurer of the Year (2018, 2019), iSelect Partner Awards Insurer of the Year (2019), Insurance Asia International Life Insurer of the Year (Australia, 2020), Shared Value Awards Corporate Organisation Leading Through Shared Value (2019) and Shared Value Awards Organisation of the Year (2020).
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