Mental Health Outside the Workplace

By Nick Kelly

Towards the end of 2019, I had the pleasure of meeting two gentlemen who specialise in providing bespoke services to high net worth individuals. This in itself is not a particularly unusual scenario as, through our professional networks, we often have visitors arrive at our office to meet and discuss what opportunities there may be for our respective firms to work together, but the subject matter and resonating considerations following meeting were quite different.

The topic under discussion was health, and in particular, mental health.

Here at Burleigh Manor, starting in 2018, a small team has worked to promote awareness of physical and mental health wellbeing initiatives. Something I'm very pleased to play a small part in. Despite this, I have to admit that I had not widened my awareness beyond my family, friends and colleagues, until meeting Dr. Asad Raffi and Jonathan Edgeley of Sanctum Healthcare.

At Peregrine, we have always considered ourselves to be trusted advisors to high net worth individuals and their families which means acting in the best interests of the family be it financial, legal or tax related, but generally always with a focus on the "business" side of any relationship.

I believe we now need to consider expanding our definition of best interests and start to think about the potential health implications of how business affairs are structured and how succession matters will be dealt with.

We are generally aware that the creation of wealth has the potential to create considerable physical and mental stress. Long hours, late nights, difficult decisions, time away from family, lack of exercise.

In society in general, there is perhaps a, "that is what they're paid for", for high earners, or "they've got it easy", for the next generation, way of thinking that is not only wrong, but potentially doing more harm.

For wealth generators, there may be an internal need to keep up with their competitors, to continue to build on their successes, to avoid being overtaken, to provide for their family or the fear of failure. For the next generations, an external or internal pressure to try and live up to the standards set by their forebearers, to be as successful as they were and to live up to the expectations people will automatically have of them.

At this meeting, I was once again reminded that mental health isn't obvious. You can't see it and it can appear in the most unexpected of places. But that doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be treated.

Society has come a long way in a few short years in accepting the seriousness of mental health matters but there is still a stigma attached that will often prevent those suffering from reaching out for help. Possibly feeling they are letting down their colleagues and family or worried about appearing weak in the public eye.

I cannot attest to the standard and quality of Sanctum Healthcare's services. But they have identified a gap in the healthcare service, both NHS and private, to cater for those suffering from mental health issues and who want to get better but want to do so in private. As well as helping people get better, they're helping firms like ours provide better support to our valued clients and raising awareness of an important topic.

This must be a good thing.



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