The professional body, which awards the Certified Financial Planner designation in the UK, says it wants to help end the “stigma” around mental health for its 45,000 members around the world and other financial services professionals.
The initiative supports World Mental Health Day today (10 October).
The CISI cited statistics published by AdviserPlus in 2017 about mental health in financial services which found that only 46% of respondents would feel comfortable speaking to their manager if they had a mental health issue.
This improved slightly when the same question was asked of CISI members in 2019 (55% of 2019 respondents) but the body says this means that many thousands of financial services professionals still struggle to raise issues with managers about their mental health.
The new portal can be found at cisi.org/mh
This portal features video stories from those who are working in the finance sector who have battled with ill mental health and a video interview with consultant psychiatrist Dr Stephen Pereira on his work with those in financial services. There is also a podcast with Dr Pereira and Piers Connolly, an investment banking professional of 25 years who reveals his personal mental health battle.
The new CISI mental health portal offers information, resources and signposts to helpful organisations. The portal aims to mirror a toolkit approach, to practical articles, activities, resources and stories to enable strides towards introducing positive well-being and reduced stigma.
The portal includes a direct “Need Urgent Advice?” page for readers who may need urgent help, with links to Samaritans and MIND websites and emergency phone contacts for members across the 100 countries in which the CISI has members.
Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) quoted by the CISI reveal there were 526,000 cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17 in Great Britain and 1 in 6 workers will experience experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress. Charity MIND puts the average cost to businesses of failing to support employees with mental health issues at £1,300 per employee.
Simon Culhane, Chartered FCSI and CISI CEO, said: “According to MHFA England, mental ill health is responsible for 72m working days lost and costs £34.9bn 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.”
• MetLife UK has trained 16 mental health first aiders at its Brighton office in support of World Mental Health Day and plans to train more.