[The Wrap] It's time to check in on advisers' wellbeing

Mental health is one of biggest issues facing New Zealanders - it's time we found out how financial advisers are faring.

Sunday, September 26th 2021, 4:48PM

by Philip Macalister

It was a year ago on Saturday I realised how unexpectedly mental health problems can hit you. I won't go into what happened, suffice to say it was an awful experience and not one you would wish on anybody. We were extremely lucky with the outcome. Many others are not so fortunate.

The point is that mental health is like one of those invisible threats that is more widespread than you realise. It can expectedly surface and can, and often does, have have devastating impacts.

One thing I have learnt is often the triggers are undetected until they have been pulled. 

You might say it won't happen to me. Don't take that stance. We all have a duty to look out for each other, and that is the same whether is it work, family or some other environment.

Recent research into the mental health of financial advisers in Australia revealed exactly this. It is an industry in crisis. Compared to other occupations financial advisers across the ditch had very poor statistics around mental health issues.

In this GRTV interview I talk to one of the researchers, Dr Adam Fraser and AIA chief partnership officer Sam Tremethick.

It's quite long but worth listening too.

Is this the same as in New Zealand? We will find out soon. The researchers who did the work in Australia are repeating a New Zealand version and AIA has agreed to sponsor this work.

Like the campaign to get New Zealanders vaccinated we are encouraging as many advisers as possible to take part in this research.

Insurer AIA is supporting this initiative but, it is for all advisers no matter whether you are an insurance specialist, a mortgage adviser, financial adviser or KiwiSaver adviser.

AIA has promised to share the research with the industry.

The results in Australia were a real wake-up call. But there is also some good news. The report identified a group of what it called "Thrivers" who were doing well.

Being a bit pollyannaish, I take the view there is always upside in every situation. We can all learn from the Thrivers - and hopefully become one.

Tags: AIA Mental health

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