Gender imbalance in mental health hospital admissions

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Medibank says new data shows the number of women admitted to hospital last financial year for mental health treatment across Australia was more than double the number of men.

Medibank said it supported more than 46,000 mental health-related hospital admissions (Medibank and ahm) for women nationally to June 2020. Yet men accounted for just under 20,000.

"The figures reflect that men are less likely to access care and support for mental health needs, while many women are more proactive in seeking help," said Medibank in a statement.

Research shows one-in-five Australians will experience a mental health issue each year but more than half will not access any treatment.

Chief customer officer David Koczkar said Medibank and ahm have broadened their mental health support with customers able to claim for counselling consultations on eligible extras cover.

“Our customers told us they wanted more choice in how they access their treatment, so we have added the option of counselling in addition to psychology," said Mr Koczkar.

“By adding counselling support to eligible extras cover, we are focused on providing our customers with more options on ways to invest in their mental health and accessing a broader range of treatment options at home.

“The counselling services will be provided by a network of Medibank recognised counsellors, with benefits paid for individuals, couples and families through face-to-face or telehealth consultations.”

Mr Koczkar said Medibank has been ramping up mental health support for customers as the community need grows.

“Whether its participating in our Live Better at Home program or accessing resources through our healthy mind hub or seeking treatment through our 24/7 Mental Health Phone Support (1800 644 325) or via telehealth-based psychology services, we are making it even easier to get the support people need, when they need it,” said Mr Koczkar.

“Mental health issues don’t discriminate and can impact anyone. We’ve spent time in lockdown, and it can take a toll, so looking after yourself is so important.

“We know that some of our customers are currently dealing with financial hardship, unemployment or maybe feeling disconnected from family and friends.

It’s really tough to do that alone so we want them to know that we are here to support them.”