The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment’s newly appointed Liverpool president has pledged to use her presidency to raise awareness around mental health.
Vanessa Doyle said the pandemic had proved difficult fo many and she wants to support those that "may be afraid to ask for help".
Doyle, an investment administrator at Stellar Asset Management, was appointed president of the CISI’s Liverpool branch this month after serving on the branch committee for eight years.
Speaking on her appointment, she said: “I am absolutely delighted and privileged to become president for our region. I want to thank Louise for her leadership over the last three years.
“The pandemic has proved an extremely difficult time for many, and the number of people seeking help for their mental health wellbeing has increased.
“As the UK starts to reopen, there will understandably be many people who are anxious, but may be afraid to ask for help. During my presidency, I want to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.”
Mental health has become an important topic in the industry in the past few years.
The Financial Conduct Authority has made it a priority, impressing on all firms, whether providers or advisers, the need to address issues of vulnerability and ensure the client always has the best possible outcome to any financial planning recommendation.
In February the Personal Finance Society called on the industry to prioritise its own mental health alongside that of clients, after it emerged the majority of advisers too had felt the impact of the pandemic on their wellbeing.
Earlier this year, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said it is aiming to train 5,000 advisers and frontline staff on mental health by the end of the year, in a bid to improve standards for insurance customers with mental health conditions.
Over the past year, protection providers also reported a rise in claims and policyholders seeking support in relation to mental health during the pandemic.
Data from Zurich showed mental health conditions were the most common cause of income protection claims last year at 27 per cent, double that in 2019 (13 per cent).
Doyle is replacing former Liverpool president Louise McEveley, who said: “It has been a privilege to have led the committee though the challenges of the past year.
“I aspired to be a role model for young women in the profession and I hope that I have inspired some of the youth in our region to enter our profession through our successful education programme.
"I look forward to working under Vanessa’s leadership and I fully support raising awareness for mental health."
Kevin Moore, CISI global business development director, added: “We are delighted to welcome Vanessa and look forward to supporting her and the committee with forthcoming initiatives. We’d like to thank Louise for her inspiration and leadership over the last three years.”