Monday, July 25th, 2011
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.”

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AFA; Association of Financial Advisers; financial advisers; beyondblue; mental health; depression; anxiety; work-related stress



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