PFS encourages mental health conversations

Four out of five financial planners are confident discussing mental health and money with their clients, a survey has revealed.

A social media poll of 154 Personal Finance Society members in January revealed only one in five financial planners do not feel self-assured when discussing how mental health issues may impact their finances.

To mark Time to Talk Day (3 February), when Mind encourages conversations about mental health, the Personal Finance Society is sharing good practice guidance on this subject.

The guidance, produced by the CII Group, recommends professionals follow the Texas model, developed by the Money Advice Trust and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

T – Thank the client for telling you the information, setting up a background of empathy and respect for the rest of the conversation.

E – Explain how the information will be used and reassure them that you are putting their interests first.

X – Ask for explicit consent from the client to record the information they give you.

A – Ask some key questions, such as if their illness affects the way they want to communicate with you.

S – Signpost to another provider or resource who may be more appropriate if you are unable to help as this demonstrates you have engaged with their needs.

Matt Connell, Policy and Public Affairs Director of the Personal Finance Society, said: “Clients seeking financial advice are looking to improve their financial resilience, protect themselves, their property or their loved ones.

“By putting yourself in the mindset of the client, and following the Texas model, financial planning professionals are better able to empathise with their requirements and meet their needs.”

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