#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek: Creating bespoke and meaningful wellbeing resources for financial advisers – CII’s James Moorhouse highlights some of the tools available

by | May 9, 2022

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This article is featured as part of our week-long series looking at awareness and practical advice to support the Mental Health of those working across the financial services sector

By James Moorhouse(pictured in the middle above), Content Manager at Chartered Insurance Institute and Personal Finance Society

One of the few positive outcomes from the pandemic is that mental health has become part of our everyday vocabulary. This shift in focus was accelerated by the world adapting to new pressures created through lockdowns, remote working and COVID diagnoses. While many are still navigating their way through these, it is important to build on the awareness created.

The recent InsideOut Awards[1], held in March 2022, recognised and rewarded those who created and supported mental health resources over the past 12 months. Now approaching its third year, the awards were originally founded by Chris Cummings and Rob Stephenson to celebrate the organisations and individuals across all industries, showcasing leadership, innovation and best practice in focusing on the mental health agenda at work.

As an attendee on behalf of the Personal Finance Society (PFS), I was nominated in the ‘Behind The Scenes Champion’ category through the wider work I undertook as part of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). This was in recognition of the blogs, podcasts and resources published over the past 12 months to help support financial advisers and insurance professionals in supporting their clients and colleagues with their mental health, many of which are available on the PFS Wellbeing Hub[2].

Supporting people’s wellbeing is not just about free fruit, beanbags or virtual yoga sessions. It is about recognising the individual as well as collective needs through lived experience and holistic approaches. Some of the achievements celebrated during the evening included mood scoring apps, return to work processes, remote support, bus tours and a suicide interceptive tool. The sheer effort and imagination of those present was inspiring and demonstrates the potential of creating meaningful support mechanisms.

2022 has already presented financial advisers with unique challenges, such as the rise in cost of living, geopolitical issues and sustainable investments. All of these factors will contribute towards a stressful working environment, whether that is home, office or hybrid. The continued challenge of incorporating these pressures with restructured daily routines means that many financial advisers will be having difficult conversations with clients against a backdrop of their own as well as their clients’ stress.

A recent social media poll of PFS members revealed that one in ten respondents felt client demands was the greatest cause of stress to them, with 8% citing limited development opportunities. The second biggest cause of work-related stress for financial planners is regulation, with one out of five citing red tape causing them headaches.

The PFS has recently partnered with Health Assured, where members can access a free and confidential helpline that will connect them to qualified counsellors and advisers providing counselling, legal guidance, bereavement support, medical information and much more. The CII is also updating and expanding its competency framework, called the Professional Map, to help financial planners assess their own skills gaps and identify relevant qualifications, training, online learning and continuing professional development (CPD) to help clients improve their financial resilience.

Through attending the event it was evident that not only is mental health becoming top of the agenda in the workplace, but there is also a diverse range of work available. Through these proactive and meaningful tools, which recognise the genuine needs of employees, mental health and wellbeing resources can be relevant and effective.

[1] https://www.insideoutawards.xyz/

[2] https://www.thepfs.org/about-us/initiatives/wellbeing-hub/

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