MetLife response to the productivity commission report on mental health

MetLife welcomes the Final Report of the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry on Mental Health released on 16 November 2020.

The findings and the recommendations of the Inquiry have the potential to make a substantial and positive impact on the lives of Australians across the mental health spectrum. The wide-ranging report acknowledges the complexity of mental health and the current system which supports people.

As a purpose driven organisation, MetLife has been a strong advocate for mental health reform, particularly where insurers can play an active role in supporting their customers. We welcome the recommendations from the Productivity Commission to allow life insurers to fund mental health services, as we believe this will have a significant impact on improving customer health outcomes.

We know from our research that financial health and mental health go hand in hand, and that they should be addressed jointly. We’re pleased to see the report acknowledge the impact of mental health on a customer’s ability to earn a living and therefore build a secure financial future. The acknowledgement is important in understanding the role that financial services organisations can play in supporting customers both financially and mentally, thereby reducing the long-term health and financial costs to Government.

The report highlights that in some sectors of the community, mental health still carries significant stigma, which remains a barrier to customers seeking help and accessing products and services. We agree that this needs to be addressed across all settings.

At MetLife we have long recognised the role that we can play in the lives of our customers and have taken the following actions:

  • Provided extensive training to our staff so they can support our customers with mental health conditions, including rolling out SuperFriend’s Person-Centred Communication approach
  • Worked collaboratively with the industry including FSC to advocate for improved access to mental health services across a range of settings including via insurance providers
  • Partnered with the Mental Health Professionals Network, focused on psychosocial rehabilitation within insurance schemes
  • Made mental health preventative and recovery resources and tools available through our 360Health program to support customers
  • Ensured our own workplace and employees are given what they need to be mentally healthy

There is still more to be done to ensure all Australians are properly supported - 2020 has highlighted the magnitude of this need.

We welcome this important step in addressing the gaps in the mental health system that need to be filled and look forward to continuing to work with the Government on shaping the reforms to move forward in achieving positive customer outcomes.

Richard Nunn, CEO, MetLife Australia

Media Contact

Sarah Kelly                                                   

MetLife Australia                                   

+61 (0)411 893 890

About MetLife Foundation

At MetLife Foundation, we are committed to expanding opportunities for low- and moderate-income people around the world. We partner with nonprofit organizations and social enterprises to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, while engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help drive impact. MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. From its founding through the end of 2019, MetLife Foundation provided more than $860 million in grants and $85 million in program-related investments to make a positive impact in the communities where MetLife operates. Our financial health work has reached more than 13.4 million low- and moderate-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit

About MetLife

MetLife Insurance Limited (MetLife), an affiliate of MetLife, Inc., is a specialist provider of life insurance to affinity partners, superannuation trustees and employers in Australia. MetLife has expertise in designing and executing direct insurance programs for partners’ customers and insurance solutions to meet the needs of specific member groups. MetLife has been a specialist provider of life risk insurance products in Australia since 2005. For more information, visit

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates, is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit