How the Royal Commission spurred a new FPA program

Alex Burke,  Senior Writer,  No More Practice Education

With the pressure created by recent reforms, the Royal Commission and FASEA requirements, it's understandable that advisers have been feeling significant stress.

Noting that according to the Mental Health Commission the cost of mental ill-health is around 4% of GDP, the FPA unveiled a new program aimed at providing its more than 14,000 members counselling and support services during this difficult time.

FPA Wellbeing, developed in partnership with Benestar, is a confidential program where members can receive free and comprehensive support. This includes phone, face-to-face and live chat services as well as a library of health and wellbeing resources.

Explaining the new program, FPA chief executive Dante De Gori referenced the spectre of the Royal Commission and said that the profession is in the midst of "extraordinary change."

"Higher education standards are forcing many of us to go back to the books and study," he said, "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 added: "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."

Programs like this are important for another key reason, as Vanessa Stoykov recently wrote. She said that the real cost of advisers under attack is that there’s less “bandwidth” for them to be reaching out into the community and providing advice to those who direly need it.

“The lack of capacity to serve Australians while your focus must turn inward to survive,” she wrote, “is a huge opportunity cost.”

With programs like FPA Wellbeing - which is available through the FPA Member Centre - hopefully the advice community will be getting the support it needs so it can continue doing what it does best.

 


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