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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.
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Sophie is Head of Learning & Development at F-LEX Legal - an award winning legal tech startup helping law firms and organisations manage a flexible work force and supporting lawyers to make smarter life/work choices.
As part of her portfolio career Sophie runs various learning and development and networking forums for in-house lawyers and mentors junior lawyers. These include Flying Solo for small and solo legal teams and Aspire for junior in-house lawyers which she runs for LexisNexis UK. She also works with schools and organisations to promote social mobility within the legal profession, working with The Social Mobility Business Partnership and Aspiring Solicitors.
She trained as a lawyer in the City and worked as an in-house lawyer for 10 years including as Head of Legal for Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group.
Outside of work she is happily married with three sons and enjoys morning walks along the beach with her two dogs.
0330 161 1234