MetLife Australia has launched a mental health initiative to support financial advisers struggling with the challenges facing the industry.
The life insurer’s campaign, created in response to rising concerns regarding the mental health of financial advisers, will provide advisers with a range of online content, including webinars and articles, to help them recognise and seek help for signs of a decline in their mental health and that of their colleagues.
The announcement follows a recent resolution made by financial advisory leaders, including representatives from the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) and Financial Planning Association (FPA), to establish a cross-industry working group to better coordinate the methods being used to address the increasing incidence of mental health issues among practitioners.
MetLife Australia chief retail insurance officer Meray El-Khoury said the challenges faced by advisers in the form of changes to the finance industry and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic meant they were in need of more than just “practical advice”, such as content to help them complete their adviser exams.
Equipping financial advisers with the tools to help them with mental and physical health concerns brought on by the pressures of their job was also necessary, El-Khoury pointed out.
“We know from our close work with the financial advice industry that advisers are facing significant pressures in the current environment. Not only are they adapting to COVID-19, they’re also dealing with changes that are reshaping the industry,” she said.
“While industry bodies like the AFA and FPA are already providing assistance to advisers, we believe that the insurance industry also has an important role to play in ensuring the long-term mental wellness of our financial adviser partners. We have experience supporting our customers through these challenges and it is a natural extension to support advisers as well.”
The new initiative will include commentary from industry leaders, as well as members of the financial advice community who have experienced first-hand a decline in their mental health as a result of the pressures of their role.
“Financial advisers are used to providing assistance to their clients – not necessarily reaching out for assistance themselves,” El-Khoury added.
“We want to help advisers understand they have dedicated support and places they can come to in times of need. With all the stressors facing advisers, we want to be a trusted partner who can give them the tools they need to thrive.”