30 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | AUG 2022 The Tolls of the Industry: Pleasure and Pain Law is one of the most rewarding careers out there, both intellectually and financially. The best lawyers treat law as a lifestyle rather than a job. Those lawyers tend to do the best, but also suffer the most. You effectively are ensuring (as subtly as possible) that, at any given time, the right people know you are a lawyer and you are good at what you do. That does not mean showing off or having all conversations be about law – it just means that it becomes part of your DNA. When you tell people you are a lawyer, a certain prestige comes with it. You feel proud of what you have achieved, and you are almost guaranteed a comfortable life. Therein lies the issue: law takes an incredible toll on the mind. You end up being burnt out, exhausted, unable to quit as you are accustomed to a certain lifestyle and also, above all, unable to see yourself as anything other than a lawyer. It is all you are and all you know. Having experienced severe mental health issues as a lawyer, including a full breakdown, I have adopted a new approach. Both in my own law firms and my consultancy with Soul, I work with technology, psychiatrists and cognitive behaviour therapists to monitor the mental health, anxiety levels and happiness of employees. It is so important to raise awareness in order to fund and secure better support for employees. I work with many likeminded business leaders to do just that. Lawyers deal with a culture of stress and it is taking it taking a real toll. While I work on employee wellbeing across multiple Perhaps more than any other white-collar profession, law demands an extraordinary amount of hard work and mental dedication from its practitioners. Compounding this, the legal sector is notoriously poor at identifying and managing lawyers’ struggles with mental health. In this feature, business development strategist and corporate wellbeing consultant Tom Keya gives his honest insight into the area, drawing from his own experience. Getting to the Heart of Mental Health Issues in the Legal Profession Tom Keya Founder, Soulh 71-75, Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom, WC2H 9JQ www.tomkeya.com GETTING TO THE HEART OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION Tom Keya is an executive of UAEbased law firm Ruthbergs LLC and founder of Soulh, a technology platform and wellbeing supplements company designed to improve mental health and burnout in the workplace, Following his own struggles in the legal profession, Tom Keya became a strong advocate for those suffering from mental health issues in the legal sector, consulting businesses on the mental health of their employees.support, consultancy and security services in the sector.