News In Focus
LawCare launches "Champions" scheme for Mental Health Day
LawCare, the mental health support charity for legal professionals, has launched a new advocacy scheme to coincide with World Mental Health Day, which takes place today, 10 October.
"LawCare Champions" aims to appoint legal professionals in the UK to act as mental health and wellbeing advocates within the legal community, to raise awareness of the issue and lead the drive for culture change in a profession where long working hours and expectations of being available at any time are still prevalent.
Fourteen champions have been appointed, with more to follow next year. The first appointees include one Scot, Catherine Hart, partner and professional support lawyer, Digby Brown, along with Charles Jacobs, senior partner and chairman at Linklaters, James Pereira QC, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Lloyd Rees, Herbert Smith Freehill’s Samantha Brown, David McCahon from Barclays, and Andrea Brewster OBE, lead executive officer of IP inclusive.
Elizabeth Rimmer, chief executive of LawCare commented: "We are very proud to launch this new scheme on World Mental Health Day. This is a cross-jurisdiction, cross-profession initiative and our new champions have all been carefully chosen for their commitment, passion and enthusiasm in raising awareness about the importance of good mental health and wellbeing in the legal community. We hope our champions will help us to drive positive change in the culture of law.
"The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention, and we must all come together in the legal community to improve dialogue on mental health issues."
Welcoming the scheme, Richard Pugh, Clerk of the Faculty of Advocates, said: "We fully support this welcome initiative, designed to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health in what can be a stressful job. LawCare provides a vital service for members of the profession to obtain support and advice, and we would always encourage anyone in need to seek their help."
The charity has also launched a new animated video highlighting the support it offers, available to view at www.lawcare.org.uk
The full list of champions is:
Andrew Brewster OBE, lead executive officer, IP inclusive
Samantha Brown, partner, Herbert Smith Freehills
Joanna Fleck, co-founder, Claiming Space
Clare Good, solicitor, Capital Law and wellbeing officer, Cardiff Law Society
Catherine Hart, partner and professional support lawyer, Digby Brown
Jodie Hill, managing director, Thrive Law
Karen Jackson, solicitor and managing director, didlaw
Charles Jacobs, senior partner and chairman, Linklaters
David McCahon, global head of Commercial, Innovation and Technology Legal & Wellbeing Leader at Barclays
James Pereira QC, barrister and coach
Nick O’Neill, governance and practice manager, Wirral Borough Council
Lloyd Rees, knowledge lawyer, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Anna Robinson, senior solicitor and psychotherapist
Joanne Theodolou, general counsel at Simply Business and trustee of Mind, the mental health charity