Aviva has announced the introduction of a new strand to its corporate mental health policy, Mental Health Pathways Plus, which enables large companies to support their employees through any addictions they may be dealing with, including alcohol, drugs, gambling, gaming and social media.
The new provision is an extension of the mental health policy that Aviva launched last year; it will also be available through Optimum, the private medical insurance scheme that Aviva provides for organisations with 250 or more employees. The policy also covers the children (aged 13 and over) of employees.
“Addictions can have a huge impact on an individual's mental wellbeing, and to their home and working life,” said Dr Doug Wright, Medical Director at Aviva. “While there’s no doubt that digital technology offers many benefits, it's also driving behaviours which could increase people's health risks. Previously, addictions have mainly been associated with drugs and alcohol, but now the internet and smartphone apps are leading to technology-driven addictions such as online gaming and sensation-seeking entertainment as well as preoccupation with social media. We have responded by broadening our mental health cover to ensure businesses can opt to extend their support for employees affected by these emerging addictions.”
It is good to see insurers taking a proactive approach and attempting to fill gaps in coverage; every day seems to bring with it a new potential problem for citizens of this confusing modern landscape to deal with, but as we always like to say in the ITIJ offices, a problem is merely an opportunity you haven't met yet.