The Law Society, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, LawCare, SBA The Solicitors’ Charity, and the Solicitors’ Assistance Scheme (SAS) have announced a joint campaign, #SupportingSolicitors, to promote the help available to solicitors dealing with personal challenges.
It is one of several initiatives announced at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, which aims to challenge the stigma about mental health.
'It is important for all solicitors to know that no matter what challenges they may encounter during their legal career they are able to obtain support from someone who understands their unique set of circumstances,' said solicitor Kayleigh Leonie, author of Supporting resilience and wellbeing in the workplace, which investigates lawyers’ working environments with a particular focus on junior lawyers.
'Whether it is a professional/work-related issue or a personal matter, it is very reassuring to know that there are organisations available to provide solicitors with guidance and support.'
In a related initiative, LawCare announced that it would pilot a new webchat service from 1 July. The charity, which offers emotional support to legal professionals and staff in the UK and Ireland through a free confidential helpline and peer support network, received their highest ever number of helpline calls in 2018.
Elizabeth Rimmer, chief executive, said: 'More and more people in the legal community are reaching out to us for support every year so it is vital we expand our support service. We also know that many young people are more likely to seek help online than pick up the phone. Our webchat service will allow anyone working in the legal profession to contact one of our trained team members online for emotional support on any issue that is troubling them.'
Webchat will be available from 1 July at www.lawcare.org.uk. LawCare's phone number is 0800 279 6888.
A report published today by public body Acas reveals that two thirds of workers (66%) reported feeling stressed or anxious about work over the past year. The most common reasons given for the way they felt included workloads (60%), the way that they were managed (42%) and balancing home and work lives (35%).