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CISI launches mental health portal for financial services professionals

Only 55% of people working in financial services would feel comfortable speaking with their manager if they had a mental health issue.

Rozi Jones
|
10th October 2019
mental health brain blocks
"Our 2018 inaugural survey into the mental health of our members demonstrated that work stress can be a key contributor to ill mental health"

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has launched a mental health support portal aimed at encouraging the conversation around mental health in financial services

Announced as part of an initiative to support World Mental Health Day today, the not-for-profit CISI asked a question about mental health in its membership survey in 2018, which found that only 46% of respondents would feel comfortable speaking with their manager if they had a mental health issue.

Although this improved slightly to 55% when the same question was asked of CISI members in 2019, CISI says it wants to show its commitment to the wellbeing of its members and the wider financial services profession in launching the new portal, which can be found on cisi.org/mh

The portal offers information, resources and signposts to helpful organisations, the aim being to cultivate a healthy mind to help those in the financial services community to reach their full potential. The portal aims to mirror a toolkit approach to practical articles, activities, resources and stories to enable strides towards introducing positive well-being and a reduced stigma against speaking up as essential approaches in future office environments.

The portal also highlights features which may be beneficial to managers relating to mental health, such as how to create a workplace that supports mental health.

Other themes include how to deal with a busy workload, how to transform failure into success, how to cope with stress and how to navigate ethical dilemmas.

Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that there were 526,000 cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17 in Great Britain and research from MIND found that 1 in 6 workers will experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress at one time.

The Centre for Mental Health estimates that the cost to businesses for each employee whose mental health needs are unsupported is £1,300.

Simon Culhane, Chartered FCSI and CEO of the CISI, said: “According to MHFA England, mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9 billion each year, the total cost of mental ill health in England is estimated at £1-5 billion per year and 75% of mental illness, excluding dementia, starts before aged 18. These shocking statistics speak for themselves and our 2018 inaugural survey into the mental health of our members demonstrated that work stress can be a key contributor to ill mental health, which can be largely controlled by both the leadership and culture within a firm.

“More firms in the financial services sector are showing real leadership for both their staff and the talent pipeline. Examples include Lloyds Banking Group Optimal Leadership Resilience Programme rolled out for 200 senior leaders and 2,000 managers and their Optimal You programme teaching 70,000 people the skills, tools and strategies, based on science, to minimise sickness and presenteeism.

“In addition Goldman Sachs and MIND have recently launched a mental health programme to provide a £1.5 million partnership for mental health support for universities.

“It is our aim with our mental health portal to support the conversation around mental health for those in the financial services profession, to end the stigma of speaking on these issues and provide a platform to support the important, brave and moving stories from individuals who have been affected by ill mental health in our sector.“

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