Tracy Kearey, the director of Brisbane-based Home Loan Connexion, has revealed that she will launch a mental health program to support her brokers.
Ms Kearey, who was crowned Principal of the Year at the inaugural Women in Finance Awards in September, told The Adviser that she will be launching the program to “give back” to the industry and provide support to her brokers.
Following an anxiety attack earlier in the year, Ms Kearey said that she wanted to make sure that anyone suffering from stress, anxiety or mental health issues had an appropriate outlet and support system.
As such, she is bringing in a mental health program for Home Loan Connexion employees.
She explained: “We're working on a mental health program for our brokers so they know that they have that available to them, which is something I am really passionate about.
“We all have stresses. I have had some stress recently and ended up with what I thought was a heart attack, but it turned out to be anxiety. It just made me stop and realise that it was very important that people know that they have somebody to talk to. And, as you don’t always want to talk to a colleague or your boss, we're bringing in a mental health program that partners with different people who will offer some more services to our broker group.”
Ms Kearey added: “We do a huge amount of work and are often under a huge amount of pressure, both in our professional lives and in our personal lives. While we all put a smile on our faces at work, it can be an effort just to get there. In my experience, if there is somebody available to speak to, it can just change your day and make it that little bit more manageable.
“Mental health issues are happening, and we just need to be aware of it and support each other where we can. So, we’re developing a mental health program at Home Loan Connexion where we'll be bringing in a counsellor who can address our group at our meetings and do some webinars and blogging on our website and social media. That way, we can offer our team someone to speak to if they need it and offer financial assistance with that as well.”
The Home Loan Connexion broker added that the company was also working on bringing to market a mentoring program, as “it can be quite isolating and lonely being a mortgage broker on your own”.
Led by Jason Bridgett, HLC's national business coach, the mentoring program will be available to mortgage and finance brokers across the country with less than two years' experience. There will be 10 core subjects that require completion, which are supplemented by support, guidance and online group discussions.
Ms Kearey said: “Fortunately for me, I have a lot of brokers in my group who I work with and talk to on a daily occurrence, but I also speak to brokers, both male and female, that I mentor, in a way. I’m available to them if they need any assistance because I know it can mean a lot to know you are not alone.
“In this industry and in this career, it makes a difference having someone to give you comfort in what you're doing. And, for me, working with other women and new-to-industry brokers, both male and female, and watching them succeed is one of my greatest pleasures. I love that I can be a part of someone else's success.”
[Related: FBAA asks brokers: R U OK?]
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