CISI launches dedicated portal to support World Mental Health Day

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has launched its new mental health support portal, aimed to encourage the conversation around mental health for its global membership, financial services professionals and staff.

Announced as part of an initiative to support World Mental Health Day, 10 October, the professional body hopes to help end the stigma around discussing mental health. This comes after a 2018 membership survey, in which the CISI asked a question about mental health, that revealed only 46% of respondents would feel comfortable speaking with their manager if they had a mental health issue.

While this figure showed an increase when the same question was asked to CISI members in 2019 – 55% of 2019 respondents said they would feel comfortable speaking to their manager if they had a mental health issue – the launch of the CISI’s new portal shows a commitment to the wellbeing of its members, and the wider financial services community.

The mental health portal provides financial services professionals with access to information, resources and signposts to helpful organisations.

The CISI CEO, Simon Culhane, said: “According to MHFA England, mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9bn each year. The total cost of mental ill health in England is estimated at £1-5bn 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.”

The portal includes a direct ‘Need Urgent Advice?’ page for readers who may need urgent help, with links to Samaritans and MIND websites, and emergency phone contacts for members across the 100 countries in which the CISI has members.
There are articles, news and podcasts from the mental health community for professionals, selected by CISI members, and the portal also highlights features which may be beneficial to managers relating to mental health.

Culhane added: “In addition, Goldman Sachs and MIND have recently launched a mental health programme to provide a £1.5m partnership for mental health support for universities.

“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.“

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