Two-thirds of brokers suffer from mental health issues

Over two-thirds of brokers have experienced a mental health issue related to work in the past year, according to research by Ecclesiastical, which surveyed 200 brokers. Almost all (98%) of those affected take no time off to deal with it.

The insurer's second annual Broker Wellbeing Survey found that brokers working for national networks are significantly more likely to experience a mental health issue than brokers working for regional brokerages.

Stress continues to be the most commonly experienced mental health issue at work, affecting three in five brokers. This was followed by anxiety (37%) and feeling overwhelmed (34%).

The main factors contributing to stress are workloads, quoted by 82% of brokers; the volume of regulation and compliance (affecting 67% of respondents), customer demands (59%) and pressure to hit targets (56%).

Nearly three-quarters of brokers (71%) believe their organisation is committed to improving well-being in the workplace and 69% believe it is supportive of people with mental health issues.

Three out of four brokers who have suffered a mental health issue said they felt able to report it to their manager, yet over half (54%) did not as they felt able to cope with it.

Commercial director at Ecclesiastical, Adrian Saunders said: “There are encouraging signs in our research that the issue of mental health is being taken more seriously.

Many businesses are making changes to improve well-being in the workplace,” he added. “I’m pleased to see that awareness of mental health issues among brokers is high, thanks to media coverage and BIBA shining a spotlight on the issue.

“Our research suggests that understanding lags behind, but the industry is making positive strides towards real change.”

Two in five firms introduced flexible working to tackle the issue and improve well-being over the past year. Other solutions included guidance on how to deal with stress; counselling support; mental health awareness training for managers and staff and the introduction of healthy activities, such as yoga.

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