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Studies focusing on the legal profession have reached alarming conclusions about the mental health risks faced by lawyers. On 25th January 2017, the LexisNexis Strategic Advisory Board, Knowledge Management and Chief Legal Officers forums met to discuss well-being in in-house legal teams.
The roundtable session was facilitated by Richard Martin from Byrne Dean. Richard was an employment law partner and now works with organisations to help promote awareness of mental health and create healthier, more productive workplaces. The discussion covered two key areas:
What do we mean by pressure and stress?
Pressure is necessary for productivity and it is part of life. Stress is not. Stress is a state of mind where our perception of the demands upon us exceeds our perception of the resources available to us. The more we get into a state of stress, the worse our sense of perspective gets – suddenly everything seems urgent and insurmountable.
Anxiety is a problem when it becomes an unhelpful response to things that aren’t a threat. The roundtable session considered some of the risk factors that heighten susceptibility, including major change, persistent stress and lack of light in the winter months. A constant state of stress causes low performance and a high risk of mental health issues.
Why is it important to consider the well-being of your team?
How can organisations deal with stress?
Practical measures an organisation can put in place to support employees include Employee Assistance Programmes and in-house counsellors. But how can you prevent employees from reaching a crisis state? Prevention methods include:
Well-being can, and should, be monitored and addressed at both a managerial and an organisational level. There is no reason why an organisation can’t be a high-achieving, high-pressured business at the same time as safeguarding the well-being of its employees.
Read a full summary of the LexisNexis In-house Advisory Board meeting here.
Subscribers to LexisPSL can access the following recommended reading:
Non-subscribers can sign up for a free one-week trial here and discover the full portfolio of bespoke resources that LexisNexis has to offer for in-house lawyers.
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