Government and industry has ignored mental health issues advisers are dealing with following so much structural change within the industry over the past two decades, according to a former adviser.
In a blog, PFM Australia and Alliton Capital founder Barry Daniels said the mental health distress brought about by industry reform fatigue, constant legislative/regulatory changes and reputational damage of financial services is the unintended consequence that is contributing to many advice practitioners deciding to terminate their careers and exit the advisory sector.
The former adviser said all these factors have come together into a perfect storm scenario and many once resilient individuals are simply unable to cope – and this is being manifested in mental health issues.
Mr Daniels said it’s imperative that planners that find themselves unable to cope or struggling emotionally – not to do so in silence or alone.
“It’s important for those planners that are finding it difficult to manage, that they obtain help as soon as possible. Taking the first step can be daunting, but there are many health professionals, community groups and organisations that can help,” Mr Daniels said.
“Many planners will be reluctant to reach out for help, fearful of being told they have a mental illness. This fear, misunderstanding and reluctance to reach out will only delay treatment and access to support.
“The deeper concern is the dark side of all this industry reform, which in its wake is a legacy of distressed planners with mental health issues.”
Mr Daniels’ comments come as both the AFA and the FPA have recently launched mental health initiatives aimed at advisers who are struggling with adjusting to the industry changes.
“We’re encouraging members to prioritise their wellbeing and reach out if they need more support to navigate the changes affecting all of us in different ways,” said FPA chief executive Dante De Gori.
At an AFA Roadshow event in Sydney this week, AFA chief executive Philip Kewin announced the launch of its AFA Care service.
“If you know people who are doing it tough, ask them to talk to somebody. AFA Care is just one of those sources,” Mr Kewin said.
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts, or you’re worried about someone else and feel that urgent professional support is needed, FPA members can access its FPA Wellbeing service by logging onto its Member Centre website. AFA members can access AFA Care by calling 1300 360 364. Alternatively, you can also contact your local doctor or one of the 24/7 crisis agencies below.
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
beyondblue: 1300 22 4636
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