Medibank announces $1m for new mental health initiative

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Medibank has committed $1 million in 2018 to establish the Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund (MHWF).

The company said it has been established to support the mental health of all Australians, throughout every stage of life, but will initially focus on the wellbeing of ex-Defence personnel and their families.

The fund builds on Medibank’s existing community partnerships. The company invested $6.3 million in these partnerships last year.

The MHWF patron is former Dame Quentin Bryce. The former governor-general is a long-time supporter of improving the mental health of women, adolescents, those in rural areas, indigenous communities and the military.

“I have been involved in mental health advocacy throughout my career, and I have learnt a great deal from families and health professionals. Awareness of mental wellbeing has come a long way, and as a community we are talking more about it. I commend Medibank for taking this practical step and providing support where it will make a difference,” said Ms Bryce.

According to Medibank CEO, Craig Drummond, “Mental health is a growing concern for many Australians, including our serving and transitioning ADF personnel, with a greater number of people seeking treatment. Their needs can often be unique and complex. The Medibank Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund will this year provide funding to organisations who support veterans and their families.”

The Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation has been selected as one of the first groups to receive funding from the MHWF. Based at Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane, the highly respected organisation is focused solely on helping Australia’s military community. Some of the funds will be used to develop and pilot a new mental health program for veterans and their partners.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have the support of Medibank to undertake these high impact initiatives.  We believe that the inclusion of partners and families in the recovery process is critical to delivering positive, long term mental health and wellbeing benefits for veterans,” said Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation CEO, Miriam Dwyer.

The Banksia Project will also be supported by the MHWF. The Sydney-based mental wellness charity facilitates free programs focused on prevention and recovery from mental health conditions.  

Medibank has partnered with as variety of mental health organisations, including beyondblue, Mates4Mates, Soldier On and the Australian Military Medicine Association.

Medibank is also a proud premier partner of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the national exercise and wellness program ‘Free + Active’, and the Melbourne Marathon Festival.