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Mental health: bigger issue in agency industry than many believe

A survey conducted by charity Agents Together suggests a large majority of industry people would like to see more focus on wellbeing and mental health.

A report to be issued this week, based on responses to a survey of agents and other industry sectors held in the autumn, shows that three In four people admitted to going to work when feeling mentally unwell.

Some 90 per cent of respondents would like to see more focus on wellness in the industry - and most shocking, 55 per cent say they do not share their mental health challenges due to fear of judgement and stigma.

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Sixty two per cent have reported that Covid has negatively impacted their mental health, and 84 per cent would like to be educated on mental health.

Agents Together chief executive Sarah Edmundson - formerly an estate agent and now of the Agency AllStars training body - says:The survey was commissioned to investigate and better understand the complex nature of mental health in the workplace, specifically in estate agency. We believe this to be the first study of its kind in the sector, and the results will help to develop the initiatives of the Agents Together foundation and will be both insightful and at times surprising to business owners and decision-makers throughout the industry.”

She says that the figures are so grave they cannot be ignored, and that the industry must take action. 

“I am asking agents; business owners and individuals to commit to supporting a cultural shift in mental health awareness and education across the industry” she comments.

“Together we can appraise employers approaches and work closely to develop best practice. Not only responding to mental health issues but to pro-actively reduce stigma and improve ways in which wellbeing and performance can work hand in hand.”

Edmundson says the charity will be working “tirelessly” to deliver further research and education on mental health.

And she adds: “Not only will this have an almost immeasurable positive impact on individual wellbeing, and frankly that should be enough of a catalyst to change, but Deloitte’s research in January 2020 suggested that the benefits to businesses who embrace wellbeing are huge, with a return of £5 to every £1 spent on Mental Health in the workplace, and that was before Covid.”

Agents can pledge their support and see the full 35 page findings here.

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    This is so important the industry must wake up to these challenges and take greater care of the people involved. Its great that leaders like Sarah Edmundson are actually doing this work for free to help us agents.

  • Simon Brown ESTAS

    This is one issue that's not going away any time soon. As Sarah says we need to get rid of the stigma that 'mental health' issues have and change our attitudes for the good of our staff across the property sector. Hats off to Sarah and the Agents Together team for raising awareness.

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