Lawyer Monthly - August 2022

31 AUG 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM GETTING TO THE HEART OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION sectors, I am a passionate supporter of the need for systemic change in the legal industry. My background is law, and the sector is dealing with a significant issue. Trust me. Examining The Problem Lawyers and their emotional wellbeing are getting crushed. Research shows that 25% of productivity is lost due to mental health issues. This is particularly relevant for lawyers as their success is measured in productivity, retention, and revenue. So, if their mental health is suffering, it is taking a direct toll on the bottom line too (it goes without saying, but maybe it gives you more of a real concern when framed like this). Every senior member and firm leader must put a strong emphasis on improving conditions. Get the strategy meeting booked, consult external experts. Do it as fast as you can. The legal life in your firm is likely taking a high toll on those practicing it. Recent examination also shows that this is a severe issue. In 2019, the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority started to raise awareness of the mental wellbeing of professionals. More and more lawyers – especially those fresh to the industry – are asking for stress management and help with mental health issues than ever before. Research by independent charity LawCare and the Open University shows that between 2016 and 2017, there was an 11% increase in calls for help. This increased again by 5% a year later. This was all before the pandemic began. Lawyer mental health across the board was already bad. Top of the Pile Stress management in the workplace is not something that is high on the agenda for the general environment. It is typical for mental health in the workplace to be put on the backburner in favour of growth, productivity and higher fee earning. It is so important to raise awareness in order to fund and secure better support for employees.

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