Survive or thrive—promoting mental health across the legal profession

Survive or thrive—promoting mental health across the legal profession

Today is World Mental Health Day and the focus is on mental health at work. Earlier this year, for Mental Health Awareness Week ( which ran from 8–14 May), we explored the difference between ‘surviving or thriving’. Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of LawCare, says there is still significant stigma about mental health in the legal profession which stops people seeking help.

Can you explain LawCare’s background, who you provide support to and what services you offer?

Founded 20 years ago, LawCare is the charity that supports and promotes good mental health and wellbeing in the legal community throughout the UK and Ireland.

We understand life in the law and have helped thousands of legal professionals cope with a range of personal and professional concerns. Our key support service is our free, confidential and independent helpline. Calls are answered by trained staff and volunteers, who listen and provide emotional support with anything that may be of concern to the caller.

We run a peer support programme and can put callers in touch with someone who has experienced a similar problem. We also provide information tailored for the legal community—there is a wealth of resources such as factsheets and case studies available on our website.

We are here to help all branches of the legal profession: solicitors, barristers, barrister’s clerks, judges, legal executives, paralegals, trade mark attorneys, patent agents, costs lawyers and their staff and families. Our support spans the legal life from student to training to practice and retirement.

What are the key issues that people contact you about and have these changed over the last five years?

Stress and depression remain the top two issues that people call us about, and this has not changed over the past five years. Last year we saw a rise of 12% in the number of calls, compared to 2015. One of the changes we have seen is in the rise in calls about bullying, and

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