Personal Finance Society  

Six in 10 advisers felt impact of pandemic on mental health

Six in 10 advisers felt impact of pandemic on mental health

The Personal Finance Society has called on the industry to prioritise its own mental health alongside that of clients, after it emerged the majority of advisers have felt the impact of the pandemic on their wellbeing. 

A survey of 500 advisers by the professional body found six out of 10 advisers had suffered depression, anxiety, emotional distress or any other mental health condition during the coronavirus pandemic.

Keith Richards, chief executive of the PFS, said: "The impact of a global pandemic, and the social and economic restrictions it has brought, have been felt by us all collectively.

"Financial advisers throughout this pandemic have offered support to clients in vulnerable circumstances, but to continue this it is vital advisers recognise and address their own mental health needs."

The PFS has previously cited advisers providing thousands of hours of pro-bono work as more Britons became financially vulnerable and the need for savings and basic money guidance escalated amid the crisis. 

The research supports concerns that the last year has seen advisers not only deal with anxious clients, but also their own fears over business challenges and mental and physical health.

It comes as the professional body readies itself to launch a mental wellbeing hub for members to access support in caring for themselves and clients. The PFS said it hoped it would help advisers "think about mental health as a component of their overall health". 

The emotional strain of the pandemic is a threat which the advice industry is increasingly rallying to mitigate, with several big players dedicating resources to mental health support. 

Last month Quilter began offering a range of free talks for employees to help them manage strains on their mental health, with the advice giant warning many advisers were likely more stressed and anxious as a result and could experience burnout, status anxiety and stress.

Quilter said the past year had been “extremely challenging” for everyone, including financial advisers, who have had to cope with increased demands and workloads while navigating a new way of working to assist clients.

Last year network Openwork trained mental health first aiders to support staff during lockdown in a bid to keep them safe in "highly unusual times".  

rachel.mortimer@ft.com