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Ex-broker calls on industry to wake up to mental health

Ms Joseph said: "My advice to an adviser that is struggling and frightened of the reaction from a company on discussing your mental health due to career damage [is to] first look to an external professional for help.

"Do not see a therapist as weak, see it as someone who like a personal trainer will work to get your physical health back in shape, a therapist will do the same for your mental health. 

"By taking the lead you may prevent your health declining into illness. Recovery from poor mental health is 100 per cent possible."

Mente, of which Ms Joseph is a co-founder, promotes the idea that businesses should treat their employees’ mental health problems as a health and safety issue.

The firm provides a mental health support service to businesses, including mental health training, e-learning courses, awareness seminars for all staff and legal support. 

According to the company, businesses need to pay careful attention to stress and look at the risk it has on the business and the legal implications it can have if they fail in their duty of care. 

Ms Joseph said: "It is also within the best interest of the company to take a moral stance because employees who are happy at work and have access to external support and feel valued will perform and are ultimately good for business."

According to Mente companies have a responsibility to protect their staff from excessive stress.

Ms Joseph warned there had been an increase in "stress lawyers" and that litigation in this field was at an all time high and a company could be blamed for an employee’s mental health problems if it did not have the relevant safeguards in place.

Dan White, of White Financial Services, said he thought the approach of Mente was "fantastic" and that tackling mental health in this way would really resonate with big companies.

He added that he agreed the industry was very "ego driven" and that this could lead to a culture where "everyone's trying to prove something".

He said: "If you go on twitter and follow a bunch of other advisers, you see a barrage of advisers going on about how much work they've done or how many APIs they've submitted for clients.

"It's like there's a constant urge to do more work."

Mr White went on to say that if advisers are feeling "burnt out" or down the industry should be the one that supports people and helps them out.

"They should be able to talk about it for sure. But I would be careful when it's business to consumer as clients may go to someone else if they don't want to add pressure or extra work on."