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The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) is proud to announce that it will be working with beyondblue: the national depression and anxiety initiative to raise awareness and understanding of depression and anxiety, and encourage AFA members to seek help if they need it.
AFA CEO, Richard Klipin said recent cases of anxiety and depression in the financial advice profession highlight the need for the industry to develop a proactive approach to people’s mental health.
“The environment our members operate in is changing, highlighted most recently by the Future of Financial Advice reforms announced by government,” Mr Klipin said. “These changes have the potential to impact profoundly on the way our members operate. The AFA recognises the relationship between changes in the workplace and people’s mental health and would like to take a proactive step towards helping members become more aware of depression and anxiety.”
beyondblue Deputy CEO, Ms Clare Shann said: “Periods of substantial change and stress can put people at risk of developing depression and anxiety. It’s critical that employers take a proactive approach to managing mental health in the workplace. beyondblue is pleased to be working with the AFA to communicate our key messages of prevention and early intervention.”
The AFA and beyondblue recognise that small to medium business owners, who make up the majority of AFA members and their client base, may be particularly at risk.
“Small businesses do not have the same access to resources as people who work for large employers,” Mr Klipin said. “They do not, for example, have access to specialised employee assistance programs. Therefore, we will be offering our members access to forums from accredited beyondblue facilitators. We are also offering a beyondblue workshop at our annual conference.”
The AFA will provide links on its website to beyondblue’s website, via which people can order or download information and resources about depression and anxiety.
“Ultimately, we want to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness,” Mr Klipin said. “We hope to do this by creating an open forum for members to talk to their clients, staff and families about mental illness; help them identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness and provide them with direction if they or their staff or clients require additional information or training about mental health.”
beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to raise awareness of depression, anxiety and related disorders, and reduce the associated stigma.
For more information about depression and anxiety, available treatments and where to get help, go to www.beyondblue.org.au or call the beyondblue info line 1300 22 4636 (local call).
About the AFA
The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) is the longest running professional financial adviser organisation in Australia and its members have been providing trusted advice to people for 65 years. The AFA celebrates its Diamond Anniversary this year. Through individual memberships and relationships with licensees, the AFA represents over 7,000 members. These members offer a broad range of financial advice services to Australians with many having specific expertise in risk protection. The AFA aims to: provide a robust united voice for all financial advisers and their clients; continually improve practices and to focus firmly on the exciting, dynamic future of the financial advice profession. With six and a half decades’ success, the association's ongoing relevance is due to its philosophy of providing leadership and direction to advisers and their clients. It is an association run by advisers for advisers - this means advisers set the agenda, decide which issues to tackle and shape the organisation's strategic plan. The AFA has always taken a leadership position and works to ensure that members have the support and inspiration they need to run successful businesses and to have a healthy work life balance.