Medibank reports jump in members accessing mental health support

Latest News

Medibank says 21 per cent of recent calls to its mental health line have been related to the COVID-19 pandemic with over half raising concerns about social isolation and loneliness.

Anxiety, stress and worry along with job and financial impact concerns were also prominent themes, said Medibak chief medical officer Dr Linda Swan.

"Isolation, anxiety, worry and depression are also the key reasons cited by callers to the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service, which launched in April with a $5 million donation from Medibank and $10 million from the Federal Government," she said.

Dr Swan said the company has been adapting and expanding its mental health support services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As part of our COVID Health Assist program, we been checking in on vulnerable customers – such as those over 70 or those with chronic health conditions, making more than 1,500 calls.

"We have also been assisting organisations with a welfare check service for people who have been asked to self-isolate as a result of potential COVID-19 contact. Our registered nurses have been providing daily check-in calls to assess symptoms, review their general wellbeing, and offer referrals to health and other support services as required.

"We’ve seen an increase in psychology telehealth consultations since we introduced these on March 30 and we expect this to continue. We’ve also been funding hospitals to deliver existing mental health and rehab day and half day programs via telehealth, to eligible customers with hospital cover."

Dr Swan added, "The changes to our lives wrought by COVID-19 will be long-lasting, but not irrevocable. We want to be there for our customers and we will continue working to provide the mental health support they need."