News In Focus
LawCare marks 20th anniversary with special conference
LawCare, the support charity for lawyers facing personal issues, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
The occasion is being marked with a conference, Making Mental Health Matter, on Tuesday 10 October, along with the launch of a new booklet of tips for good mental health and wellbeing at work.
The conference coincides with World Mental Health Day, run by the World Health Organisation and observed on 10 October every year. This year’s theme is mental health in the workplace, and work related stress has consistently been the largest single source of calls to LawCare's helpline.
“At LawCare we have witnessed a lot of growth and change in the legal profession over those two decades, as organisations start to embrace the mental health agenda,” commented Bronwen Still, chair of LawCare, who has been involved with the charity since it was founded in 1997. “Organisations right across the profession, and the jurisdictions, now recognise the importance of looking after those who need support with mental health issues.
“We have played our part, moving from being a charity with the limited remit of supporting solicitors with addiction and related problems, to one that offers help to the whole profession throughout the UK and Ireland on a wide range of issues encompassing, amongst others, stress, depression, anxiety and bullying at work.”
She added: “Our new booklet, Tips for Good Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work, recognises that actively promoting staff wellbeing leads to greater productivity, better morale, better retention of staff and reduced sickness absence. We want organisations to start to create a culture that encourages people to be open and honest about their mental health, and to access the support they need.
“This theme also runs throughout our conference, some highlights of which are the keynote address from Jo Loughran, director of operations at Time to Change, which helps organisations change the way we all act and feel about mental health; a personal story from Chris Parsons, chairman of the India Practice of Herbert Smith Freehills and how the business supported him, and a panel discussion with members from Linklaters, Junior Lawyers’ Division of the Law Society of England & Wales, Scottish Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Ireland counselling service, about current practice in their organisations.
“We’re anticipating new insights and motivation to work together, with LawCare, to continue to raise awareness about why mental health matters in the legal community, to promote the benefits of good mental health in the workplace, and to ensure that those in need of help and support know how and where to find it.”