Mental health in the mortgage industry – how to stay on track

Group has offered its staff additional support during testing times

Mental health in the mortgage industry – how to stay on track

To mark World Mental Health Day last week, the Brightstar Group announced a series of activities to support its mental health action plan.

Team members across both Brightstar and Sirius Property Finance were encouraged to take part in a number of activities such as talk sessions, aromatherapy, at-desk massages, and ‘mentally healthy’ breakfasts.

Clare Jupp (pictured), group director of people development at Brightstar Group, explained that during this period of increased financial pressure, she believes additional support for people is essential.

“Recessions and difficult economic conditions are strongly associated with poor mental well-being, increased rates of common mental disorders and also suicidal behaviours,” she said.

Read more: Brightstar Group kicks off week-long activities to mark World Mental Health Day

While Jupp explained that all people are vulnerable to the effects of a recession, she said that those who already face mental health challenges are particularly vulnerable.

“I would suspect that we will see an inevitable worsening of mental health as people are anxious about the future and are worried about being able to provide for themselves and their families,” Jupp added.

Advice for those who are struggling

For those facing issues, Jupp explained that the first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem and, more importantly, to know that you are not alone.

Talking and sharing is critical, whether this is with a friend or a professional person; Jupp added that seeking support and counsel from those who have experienced similar challenges can be a great benefit. 

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“Know the benefits of exercise, fresh air, a good diet and do not be afraid to try new things such as yoga, meditation or mindfulness activities,” Jupp said. “Not everything works for everyone, but there will be something that is beneficial to every individual, find a daily routine for supporting your mental health.”

Additional support

According to Jupp, support for mental health and wellbeing is a daily activity at the Brightstar Group, and is not just isolated to events such as Mental Health Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day.

“We have an ongoing plan to support our team members which includes regular coaching sessions with every team member, signposting and access to support whenever needed, as well as targeted professional support for those who are facing really challenging times,” she said.

Jupp believes the most important thing is to have a work culture that encourages openness, understanding, empathy, peer support and critically, which is never judgemental.

“This kind of culture automatically encourages talk therapy, sharing and the exchange of ideas when it comes to coping strategies. We believe that this makes a huge difference,” Jupp added.

Recognition for supporting mental health

During 2022, the Brightstar Group was presented with an employer award by the mental health charity SANE for its work in the field of mental health.

“This award was specifically given to acknowledge the work that has been done at Sirius Property Finance to raise awareness and provide support for the team,” Jupp said.

Sirius Property Finance also held a workshop on International Men’s day with invited guests, which Jupp said included a member of the financial services industry who talked about his dramatic journey with mental health and his contemplation of suicide.

“This was particularly poignant as our focus for the day was the increasing number of men within the industry who not only suffer from mental health challenges, but have also taken their own lives,” she added.

According to Jupp, Sirius Property Finance has raised £50,000 for this charity over two years.