Suicide rates: coroner's report and international comparison

In short: lockdown is not causing an increase in suicide rates - in fact deaths from all causes are down - but we do have a problem. 

The coroner recently released their report on suicide rates for the past year. The media release can be found at this link: https://coronialservices.justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/Chief-Coroner-Suicide-Stats-2020-Media-Release.pdf,  the full report at this one: https://coronialservices.justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/2020-Annual-Provisional-Suicide-Statistics.pdf

I commend to you the full report. In spite of the current years' figures being a decrease on the prior year, the trend-line remains upwards over several years. Ethnic breakdowns of the rates are worth reviewing. Maori rates of suicide are highest, but this is followed by European rates, then Asian, then Pacific people. Male rates of suicide are 2.5 to 3 times the rates for females. 

To provide context, the chart below (with thanks to Ourworldindata.org) shows the rate per 100,000 of population, from 2000 to 2016, with some selected countries and groups of countries for comparison. It is the comparison with the UK that strikes me in particular. The chart is interactive. Feel free to change countries and explore. 


Product database updated

The latest version of the QPR database (V135) has been distributed to subscribers and uploaded onto Quotemonster. This version includes the following changes:

  • New Cigna personal policy wording effective 11/05/2020
    • Minor rating change to:
    • Trauma - cancer definition, child trauma option amount score
    • Life - terminal illness definition
  • Remediation to:
    • Partners Life's Mental Health Limitation (in IP)
  • Term cover policy 02/18 now rated in Westpac Mortgage Protection

Daily news update: Cigna price changes introduced, and more stories

Cigna has made price changes to a number of products. The range of the changes are detailed in the table below. You can tell from the variety of changes that this is a complete repricing exercise - not merely an increase or decrease of a blanket percentage. Some prices will be much more competitive. Some segments are being increased. The only way to know for certain, is to do a comparison for each life. That's why a price comparison across the market is vital if you wish to offer help to clients seeking the most competitive products. Quotemonster still offers free price comparisons for financial advisers with an FSP number and an email account. 

YRT Life

11/05/2020

From -12% to +8%

Level Life

11/05/2020

From -24% to +1% Non-Smokers & Female Smokers, from -17% to +8% Male Smokers

Trauma

11/05/2020

From -13% to +10% Non-Smokers & -3% to +15% Smokers

Level Trauma

11/05/2020

From -16% to +10% Non-Smokers, -16% to +18% Smokers

Income Protection

11/05/2020

From -1% to -2%

Mortgage Protection

11/05/2020

From + 5% to +25% Female, from +7% to +20% Male. As per discussion, indexation was previously offered free for the first year.

In other news:

AIA: Mentemia, a mental wellbeing app, is now part of the AIA Vitality program.

AIA: Clients can get one month’s premium free when they apply for a new eligible AIA policy between 5 March 2020 and 31 May 2020 and have the policy issued by 31 July 2020.

Partners Life: The automatic COVID-19 Mental Health exclusion that was applied to disability and business risk benefits has been replaced with more targeted and specific underwriting processes.

Partners Life: Clients who had the automatic mental health exclusion applied will have it replaced with an emergent mental health exclusion.

Partners Life: Underwriting restrictions 2020


Latest news including: AIA Vitality updates

AIA has been helping clients stay active during the lockdown. AIA has modified how customers can earn points.

"With AIA Vitality at home, members can:

  • Earn up to 50 Points per day with online workouts: led by AIA Vitality Ambassadors Ian Jones, Laura Henshaw, Chris & Bec Judd and Sarah Piotrowski
  • Enjoy a 30 day free trial, plus 10% subscription discount, with Les Mills On Demand: gaining access to 13 fitness programs and over 800 of the world's best workouts
  • Track their activity with a new device: with 25% off across the Fitbit online store, in addition to 25% off on selected Garmin devices
  • Refresh their workout wardrobe with 40% off New Balance footwear and apparel: with a unique, single-use code available on purchases until 30 May 2020"

In other news:

FSC: FSC Connect: A mission to healthier lives with NZ rugby legend, Ian Jones

AIA: Healthy Ad Break

nib Australia: Shareholder Announcements

OUT NOW: ASSET May issue

Newpark: NewPark_Demo_Overview

Now is not the time to shut up about suicide

Many covid deaths in care homes are unrecorded


Accuro launches free mental health aid

Press release from Accuro:

Accuro launches free mental health solution for more than 15,000 members

12 September 2019, Wellington

Easy and quick access to mental health diagnosis and support has been added to the range of services that Kiwis can call on from Accuro Health Insurance.

About 47% of New Zealanders will experience a mental illness and/or addiction at some time in their lives, with one in five people affected in any one year*.

“For many, issues such as depression or anxiety really affect their lives. Yet a lot of people don’t seek help or have issues with their treatment plan.” says Geoff Annals, CEO of Accuro Health Insurance, a not-for-profit health insurer based in Wellington. “The Government announced significant mental health funding this year, yet access to specialists can still be very limited, with long wait times, and can also be very expensive,”

“So Accuro is launching Mental Health Navigator in partnership with Best Doctors. First launched in Canada in 2016, Mental Health Navigator has since launched in Australia and will soon be available in Europe. Accuro members are amongst the first New Zealanders to have access to this service. Mental Health Navigator is completely free for Accuro members to use alongside their specialist insurance cover, which includes a $500 benefit towards further consultations with NZ registered psychologists and psychiatrists, should follow up be required.

The Mental Health Navigator is now available, for everyone covered by an Accuro Specialist Plan, aged 18+. It’s designed to break down barriers by providing fast, comprehensive and confidential access to a team of mental health professionals. A call to the Mental Health Navigator number will be answered by a specialist mental health nurse and followed up within 10-14 days by a video call with specialist psychologists and psychiatrists. This team can diagnose mental health conditions, develop a treatment plan, or act as a valuable second opinion. The mental health nurse then provides follow up support over the next 6-12 months.

“Fast access to diagnosis and treatment is an important part of people getting better before they get worse, and with typical wait times of two to six months through the public system, we feel access within two weeks can make a dramatic difference to a person’s wellbeing,” says Geoff Annals. “Mental Health Navigator is free, and people can access the service without having to leave their own home, an important detail for members who might be fearful of hospital appointments, or have trouble travelling to them.”

“This is the first time such a quick, easy and professional mental health support service has been available to New Zealanders through health insurance. The Accuro Mental Health Navigator joins Best Doctors, SkinVision, our wellbeing Health Hub and bowel cancer screening kits as active benefits that Accuro offers its members in supporting their health before they might need to call us. We call it Active Insurance,” adds Geoff Annals.

ENDS


Voices of Hope

Voices of Hope had a stand at the FSC Conference this week and we thought it was a good idea to spread the word about the great work they are doing.

Clipboard01

The mission of Voices of Hope is to provide hope for those struggling with mental health issues by promoting mental well-being, empowerment and recovery. You can check out their website here.

If you would like to make a donation you can do so on their Givealittle page here.

 


Australia: Mental illness claims for under 25's skyrocket

AIA Australia has stated that mental illness is now the biggest claim cause for TPD for clients under age 25. Predominantly for professional and white-collar workers, who are over twice as likely as their blue-collar peers.

"For young Australians from 2013 to 2017, 20 per cent of births were to a mother under 25, and more than 10 per cent to fathers under 25. More than two-thirds of households are also headed up by a person under 25 with debt, with a quarter of under 25s classified as ‘over-indebted’, meaning they have debt worth at least 75 per cent of their assets.”

Click here to read more. 


AIA celebrates its Centennial by partnering with the Mental Health Foundation

Press release from AIA below: 

Life and health insurer AIA celebrates its Centennial by partnering with the Mental Health Foundation

Significant donation to be used to support the provision of important mental health and wellbeing services in Christchurch as well as suicide prevention resources throughout New Zealand

Auckland, 5 April 2019.

AIA is celebrating its Centennial by joining forces with the Mental Health Foundation.  The partnership is aimed at raising awareness of mental wellbeing and the need for greater support across New Zealand. 

On Friday, around 1000 New Zealand-based AIA staff will take part in a 100km baton relay at their offices at Smales Farm in Auckland.  The charity relay is the first of a number of activities in AIA’s partnership with the Mental Health Foundation this year.

Having recently merged with Sovereign, one of New Zealand’s leading life and health insurers, AIA is actively focused on improving the health and wellbeing of its employees, customers, partners and all New Zealanders. 

AIA New Zealand CEO, Nick Stanhope said:

“We know that nearly half of New Zealanders will live with a mental illness at some point during their lifetime.  We also know that one-in-five New Zealanders life with mental illness each year.”

“They are shocking statistics, and by any standards, demonstrate the need for better mental health support services across New Zealand.”

“What’s more, despite the incredible progress in improving life expectancy and physical health, we still have high levels of mental illness across New Zealand.  Thankfully we have organisations such as the Mental Health Foundation. We’re thrilled to be working with them and to help bring important support services to those in need,” Mr Stanhope said.   

CEO of the Mental Health Foundation, Shaun Robinson said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with the team from AIA. Our organisations are both in the business of wellbeing and we have been impressed by the level of commitment shown by the staff at AIA – a 100km baton relay is quite an achievement.”

“Right now the focus of the Foundation is on the people of Christchurch.  AIA’s donation will allow us to continue to offer our ‘All Right?’ resources to people in need in Canterbury as well as the provision of suicide prevention services throughout New Zealand.”

“We are very grateful for our partnership with AIA and I know our people in Christchurch and throughout the country will be very grateful too,” Mr Robinson said.   

At the end of the relay, with the help of their staff who have been fundraising throughout March, AIA will donate $100,000 to the Mental Health Foundation.      

For more details, for images or videos from the relay, or to arrange for an interview, please contact Craig Glover, Head of Corporate Affairs and External Communications, on 027 275 3405.

-Ends-

IMG_0266