FWD Group survey finds people in Asia view mental health as a critical concern, yet are unlikely to seek external support – positive reframing of the issue may hold the key to bridging the gap.

·       65% of people in Asia believe mental health will be one of the most critical issues in the coming year, yet only one-third are open to seeking external support

·       31% of respondents in Asia believe renaming “mental health” can help people to open up

·       40% of respondents in Asia say the cost of treatment is the biggest impediment to seeking outside help for mental health care

Hong Kong, 10 October 2022 (AFTNN/PRNews) – FWD Group Holdings Limited (“FWD Group”) today released the findings from its international mental health survey, one of the largest completed in Asia, to identify insights and ideas to help promote better overall emotional well-being.

In collaboration with Blackbox, an independent research company, the survey interviewed more than 10,000 people across 16 international markets between June and July 2022, including nine markets where FWD operates: Cambodia; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; the Philippines; Singapore; Thailand and Vietnam.

Sim Preston, Managing Director and Group Chief Operating Officer, FWD Group, said, “While it’s great that mental health is gaining more and more awareness, especially in Asia, the stigma and cost of treatment remain barriers for people to seek the help they need. Published on World Mental Health Day, we hope this survey contributes insights and ideas that can help further raise awareness for this critical issue. As an insurer, we also look forward to making mental health protection more inclusive and focused on building mind strength, to enable people to celebrate living.”

While the survey found that 65% of people in Asia believe that mental health will become a critical issue in the coming year, only one-third of them prefer discussing their concerns externally. Given the cultural and societal stigmas associated with mental health, the survey findings showed that reframing mental health in a more positive way, such as ‘mind strength’, may reduce the stigma attached to the more traditional term and encourage more people in the region to open up about their challenges.

Cost of treatment was also identified as one of the most significant barriers to receiving care for mental health challenges in Asia, and 76% of respondents expressed their interest in exploring insurance options to address such challenges. The survey also uncovered that people in Asia worry about their families and jobs, which can lead to a higher rate of mental health challenges.

“Our survey showed that contributing factors to mental stress include concerns about a wide range of family responsibilities, coupled with work-related stress, rising inflation and post-pandemic adjustment. Given we also know that people may not be comfortable seeking help externally as individuals, family assumes a particularly important role. Opening up and addressing these challenges as a family unit first instead of individually, can make a difference as people may feel more comfortable,” added Joanna Chu, Group Head of Product Proposition, FWD Group.

Overall key findings of the survey include:

  1. Mental health issues will become more prominent around the world, yet stigma remains:

o        65% of people in Asia believe mental health will be one of the most critical issues in the coming year

o        74% of people said they had experienced (16%) or known someone close (28%) and distant (30%) to them who had suffered from mental health challenges

o        People in Asia place a higher value on self-help rather than seeking outside assistance, only 34% prefer discussing issues openly with others

o        31% of people in Asia believe renaming “mental health” can help people to open up

  1. Inflation and the future of children/family are top concerns leading to mental health challenges today

o        Concerns around inflation (47%) cause more mental health challenges than post-pandemic adjustment (30%)

o        People in Asia worry about their jobs (31%) and family-related concerns, including the future of children/family (34%) and increasing family responsibilities (32%)

  1. People in Asia are interested in insurance options for mental health

o        76% of people want to explore insurance to assist them in dealing with mental health challenges

o        The cost of treatment is one of the most significant barriers to receiving mental health care in Asia; 40% of people in Asia say the cost of treatment is the biggest impediment to seeking outside help.

– Ends –

About FWD Group

FWD Group is a pan-Asian life insurance business with approximately 10 million customers across 10 markets, including some of the fastest growing insurance markets in the world. Established in 2013, FWD is focused on making the insurance journey simpler, faster and smoother, with innovative propositions and easy-to-understand products, supported by digital technology. Through this customer-led approach, FWD is committed to changing the way people feel about insurance.

For more information, please visit www.fwd.com

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Hi! I'm Ursula Lee, writer and community manager at Asia Fitness Today. I love my food, my cat and my fitness regime :)

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