Australian Unity’s partnership with mortgage broker Astute is encouraging conversations beyond lending, with a series of events designed to discuss mental wellness challenges with the 500-strong network.
Australian Unity Bank CEO Tim Barber said the Royal Commission’s recommendations to overhaul the broking remuneration structure has led to uncertainty and stress for some in the industry.
“One of the main tenets of Australian Unity’s Wellbeing Index is how crucial the element of financial control is for people’s overall level of wellbeing. Putting aside the debate about whether the proposed changes to broker renumeration are the right ones, it’s important to recognise that change is difficult and can create stress. Even more so when it impacts an individual’s businesses, family and livelihood.
“That’s why Australian Unity recently hosted sessions aimed at offering Astute brokers advice and an ear on the subject. These sessions were delivered by experts from our Remedy Healthcare business.”
Astute Head of Sales Nathan Kerr said while workshops with brokers on business planning and marketing were common, less so were conversations about wellness and managing change.
“We see a lot of people looking for certainty in an uncertain environment and that can really affect their wellness. A number of our members expressed interest in learning more about coping strategies and techniques. We will certainly look for opportunities to build on the sessions to keep the conversation going.”
Mike Hutton-Squire, Executive General Manager at Remedy Healthcare, said it’s important for everyone to have a conversation about mental health, even when it’s difficult.
Beyond Blue found one in five people of working age take time off work due to mental health reasons and according to PwC’s Creating Shared Value report, this is even more prevalent for the financial services industry, where 33 per cent of workers experience mental illness.
“For over four years now, we have been assisting people living with anxiety and depression to overcome their symptoms using proven methods to treat these conditions. There is growing evidence that financial health and mental health are linked and need to be looked at holistically,” said Mr Hutton-Squire.
“Partnering with Australian Unity Bank and Astute has been a great opportunity to share our work and support people who may need help. Helping people return to their work, their family and their lives is the most rewarding part of our work.”