December 12, 2019
December 12, 2019 | Risk Pulse
Calls for unity on mental health
The advice industry has called for a more coordinated and unified approach to mental health to help it progress to an everyday consideration that benefits financial advisers and their customers.
Speaking at a recent Zurich Life & Investments Leaders Forum, industry association leaders, licensee groups and advisers heard how advisers were feeling ‘overwhelmed’ due to the impact of the ‘perfect storm’ which included stressful compliance, industry change and reducing commissions.
“A lot of us are small businesses and work on our own,” said Simone Du Chesne, Principal EQ Wealth and the AFA’s Adviser of the Year. “We are looking after our teams who are also struggling.”
Industry associations expressed how much effort they have invested into their mental health tools which made available to members. AFA Care utilises the support services of Benestar as does the FPA’s Wellbeing program which also offers free support sessions with qualified counsellors.
“There is alot of progress and good work being done and people are not aware of it,” said Phil Kewin, CEO Association of Financial Adviser’s (AFA). “We want to get the message out to people need some help that there are resources available.”
The Financial Planning Association’s CEO Dante De Gori agreed: “We want to help unify the industry. We would be very excited to work with Zurich and others to get resources out further.”
Licensees told forum delegates they are providing mental health resources to their staff including front line mental health training, courses provided by groups such as Beyond Blue and encouraging advisers to care for their colleagues, but they said there was still a gap.
Given these obstacles, forum participants called for leadership, coordination and unity on the issue of mental health.
“Mental health is a complex issue and as such requires a well thought out response that is effective ” said Maria Falas, Head of Mental Health and Wellness, Zurich. “We would like to work with the industry to achieve the coordinated approach we are discussing to provide and foster a sense of community and leadership in mental health for the benefit of our practitioners and our customers.”