Bupa leads the way to embed online mental health support


Bupa teams up with online mental health provider THIS WAY UP, empowering more individuals to take action towards regaining their mental health.

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In an Australian first, more than one and a half million Bupa customers* now have access to a suite of clinically proven Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) courses with a guaranteed 100 per cent rebate upon course completion through their Extras cover.

A new partnership with online mental health treatment provider THIS WAY UP (TWU) will allow Bupa members* to access online programs for common mental health difficulties like stress, worry, anxiety, and depression.

Bupa’s Managing Director of Health Insurance, Dr Dwayne Crombie, said “the initiative is a great example of thinking about alternative ways to deliver healthcare to meet the needs of members while achieving equally compelling clinical outcomes”.

“Research has demonstrated that internet based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) delivered via accredited programs such as THIS WAY UP is effective in treating anxiety and depression,” Dr Crombie said.

“We know that two commonly cited barriers to receiving mental health support are limited access and the associated costs. Thanks to Bupa’s partnership with THIS WAY UP we can now address both – courses are available online 24/7, with 100 per cent of costs covered for eligible Bupa members.”

On average, 80% of people who complete one of THIS WAY UP’s courses benefit substantially, with 50% no longer being troubled by anxiety or depression.1

Almost half of all Australians aged 16-85 years will experience a mental health disorder at some time in their life.2

Dr Dwayne Crombie, Managing Director, Bupa Health Insurance
At a time when young people in particular are questioning the value of private health insurance and whether they really need it, this is a real example of thinking differently to deliver a service they need in a model that they prefer
Dr Dwayne Crombie, Managing Director, Bupa Health Insurance

“Internet-based treatment allows consumers to undertake treatment at a place and time that is suitable and convenient to them; this may be outside of normal business hours, or undertaken over the weekend. We know that for our members located in regional and remote areas of Australia, access to online health services can be a key enabler to receiving such support.”

Developed by a team of leading St Vincent’s clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, these courses teach specific coping skills to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression and are designed to mimic a course of CBT treatment you'd typically receive when seeing a clinician face-to-face. All courses on offer have been proven to reduce symptoms through clinical trials conducted by the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD), with the results published in leading scientific journals.

THIS WAY UP is part of the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD), a joint facility of St Vincent's Hospital and the University of New South Wales established to reduce the impact of anxiety and depressive disorders on individuals.

THIS WAY UP’s Clinical Director, Dr Mike Millard, welcomed the partnership.

“The mission of THIS WAY UP has always been to ease the burden of mental illness through providing clinically-proven mental health interventions in a way that is accessible to more Australians.

“It is often difficult to seek and access mental health treatment. By enabling individuals to enrol in our courses anytime anywhere, without the need to obtain a referral or waiting in line for the next available slot, we encourage consumers to access the therapeutic tools they need sooner than they might be able to otherwise.

“By further removing the barrier of treatment cost, we are certain that THIS WAY UP’s partnership with BUPA will empower more individuals to take action towards regaining their mental health. We commend Bupa for taking such a leadership role in funding innovative care beyond hospital walls”

*A benefit can only be paid after completion of a Bupa recognised Online CBT course. On selected Domestic and International Extras and Package Covers, including Advantage OSHC Cover. Yearly limits, fund rules and waiting periods apply.

  1. THIS WAY UP. Available from: thiswayup.org.au/about-us/research
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Mental health services in Australia. Available from: www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services