Where it all began
SuperFriend’s story began in 2007 when superannuation funds and life insurers realised the extent of the impact that mental illness and suicide was having on their members.
With their collective mental health-related claims insights, and direct access to people on claim who were often experiencing the biggest challenges of their lives, they saw a unique opportunity to provide mental health support when it was needed most.
The funds and insurers came together through the Industry Funds Forum to coordinate their approach to reducing the incidence and impacts of mental illness and suicide, and enable their members to enjoy positive and fulfilling lives long into retirement. Through this, SuperFriend was born.
In 2019, life insurers paid over $1.24Bn to over 9,500 Australians for a mental health condition and mental illness was the leading cause of total and permanent disability (TPD) claims in Australia . In 2020, mental illness was the second highest cause of claims of any type, accounting for 15% of all claims received .
A unique opportunity
SuperFriend is uniquely positioned at the juncture of the superannuation, life insurance and mental health sectors to help maximise the number of Australians reaching a happy and healthy retirement – something they cannot do if they’ve been unable to work and contribute to their super due to mental illness.
Today, we work with, and are funded by, a number of Group Life Insurers and Profit-to-member Superannuation Funds for whom the benefits of a mentally healthy workplace include more supported members, increased staff retention, as well as increased engagement, wellbeing, productivity and profitability. Read more about how we work with our superannuation and life insurance partners to co-design solutions for their unique needs.
Through our superannuation partners, we have access to the 750,000+ employers they support, providing the potential to embed mental health and wellbeing best-practices in the workplaces in over half of Australia’s working population.
The workplace has a major impact on people’s health. Our 2021 Indicators of a Thriving Workplace research showed that more than 60% of Australian workers have experienced a mental health condition, and more than a third of those workers believe their workplace either caused the condition or made it worse.
Most adults spend one-third of their life in the workplace and, by building a positive environment that supports all workers to be their best, organisations stand to benefit just as much as their workers.