Are you ok?

by 14 Aug 2018

Ahead of R U OK? day on 13 September, FBAA executive director Peter White explains how brokers can look out for each other

The statistics on mental health are shocking. One in five Australians currently suffers from a mental health issue, while data from the ABS shows that 45% are likely to deal with a form of mental illness at some point in their lives.

Every three hours someone commits suicide because of challenges with their mental health, while one in four will experience depression. It’s an issue that’s costing the economy more than $60bn each year and $12m in lost working days. As the mental health advocate for the finance and mortgage broker industry, it’s something the FBAA striving to combat.

A person’s thoughts, mood, behaviour, or the way they see the world around them can be affected by mental illness. These disorders can alter a person’s ability to function normally at work, in relationships or in everyday tasks.

Over the past year the FBAA has been paving the way to help its members, and the industry as a whole, on the road to better mental health.

The FBAA advocates for improved support in the wider finance sector. We know that the number of people dealing with these challenges in the broking sector is rising, and we need to do everything we can to help those numbers fall.

Through our partnerships with key stakeholders in the health field and the government, the FBAA is committed to providing platforms and forums that allow open discussion and education. Because this is an issue that affects the industry as a whole, we are aiming to provide assistance across the sector, with the FBAA reaching out to all brokers, not just members.

We know that the number of people dealing with mental health challenges in the broking sector is rising

We will continue to encourage people to ask the question, “Are you OK?”, and to start the conversation with friends, family and colleagues. It’s extremely important, as people often feel they can’t talk about their challenges, or that others won’t understand.

The finance and mortgage industry can be a very stressful environment to work in. We know that many within our sector are suffering from mental health challenges and that some have committed suicide because of them.

Our aim is to enable everyone to talk openly about this subject with their friends and colleagues if they are facing difficulties, as having the conversation is extremely important. To help look after our industry family and support them when times get tough, we are adopting a holistic approach to the crisis, promoting good mental health. We’re doing this through open discussion, awareness activities and events, and providing ongoing opportunities for individuals to share their thoughts.

Thanks to the assistance of organisations like Resilia, the Centre for Corporate Health and the R U OK? campaign, we are able to maintain a culture that supports all FBAA stakeholders in better recognising and understanding mental health issues within the industry.

We feel privileged to be able to action this, along with health and fitness groups for our members to promote physical health, and business coaching to support their continued work in our industry.

The FBAA is proud to support R U OK? on 13 September and beyond. We will be encouraging all our members as well as the entire finance industry to join the conversation, because every day is a day to ask, “Are you OK?”

Peter White
Executive director,