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Financial Planning Association launches new wellness service

FPA Wellbeing has been launched to support mental health as members transition to new professional standards, the member association said.

The Financial Planning Association of Australia has announced FPA Wellbeing, a “free comprehensive health and wellbeing program providing confidential support by qualified counsellors and psychologists for FPA members, amid unprecedented change in the emerging financial planning profession”.

“According to the National Mental Health Commission, the cost of mental ill-health in Australia each year is around 4 per cent of GDP or about $4,000 for every taxpayer, and it costs the nation more than $60 billion,” the FPA said in a statement.

“The FPA is focused on prevention and early intervention initiatives, like FPA Wellbeing, to help minimise the mental health impact on its 14,000+ professionals as they transition to new education and regulatory standards, among other challenges.”

FPA CEO Dante De Gori CFP acknowledged the toll the recent royal commission and related legislative changes now underway have taken on many financial planners.

“We are in the midst of extraordinary change as a profession. Higher education standards are forcing many of us to go back to the books and study, which is not easy when you’re running a business, a family, and volunteering in your community, like so many of our members do,” he said.

“Let me be clear that raising standards and advancing change is absolutely necessary, but at the same time very, very difficult. We’re encouraging members to prioritise their wellbeing and reach out if they need more support to navigate the changes affecting all of us in different ways. Our new FPA Wellbeing support program is one way to do that.”

The program is free to all FPA practitioner members, the association noted, including certified financial planning professionals, AFP and Associate members. The benefits include personal, confidential support sessions with qualified counsellors and psychologists via phone, live chat or face-to-face, as well as access to a library of health and wellbeing resources available via a mobile app, computer or tablet.

The FPA has partnered with Benestar to deliver the comprehensive health and wellbeing program, with practitioner members able to access FPA Wellbeing by logging into the FPA Member Centre.

“I’m proud to be offering this service to our members, and we’ll be providing more ongoing resources, insights and support for managing mental health and wellbeing via Money & Life Professionals and other FPA member communication channels,” said Mr De Gori.

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