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New CISI portal to encourage conversations around mental health

17 October 2019

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (CSIS) has launched a mental health portal to encourage a conversation around mental health in financial services and break down the stigma. 

The launch of the portal, part of an initiative to support World Mental Health Day, follows a 2018 membership survey which found that only 46% of respondents would feel comfortable talking to their manager about a mental health problem.

While this number improved slightly to 55% in 2019, the professional body says it wants to show its commitment to the wellbeing of its members, the wider financial services profession and staff with the launch of its new portal.

The portal offers information, resources and signposts to helpful organisations, in an effort to help those working in the industry “reach their full potential.” The portal also includes a page for readers who may need urgent help, with links to Samaritans and MIND websites as well as emergency phone contacts for members across the 100 countries in which CISI has members.

CISI has also incorporated features beneficial to managers, including ‘How to create a workplace that supports mental health’ and ’10 things an employee should know about mental health.’

In addition, those accessing the portal will be able to view a page featuring professionals who have overcome their mental health challenges and listen to podcasts from the mental health community.

Simon Culhane, chartered FCSI and CEO, CISI (pictured), said: “According to MHFA England, mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9 billion 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.

“More firms in the financial services sector are showing real leadership for both their staff and the talent pipeline. Examples include Lloyds Banking Group Optimal Leadership Resilience Programme rolled out for 200 senior leaders and 2,000 managers and their Optimal You programme teaching 70,000 people the skills, tools and strategies, based on science, to minimise sickness and presenteeism.

“It is our aim with our mental health portal to support the conversation around mental health for those in the financial services profession, to end the stigma of speaking on these issues and provide a platform to support the important, brave and moving stories from individuals who have been affected by ill mental health in our sector.”