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28 January 2021

Sharp Increase In Legal Professionals Seeking Help For Anxiety

LAWCARE 2020 FIGURES

 

The number of legal professionals contacting the charity LawCare for emotional support continues to rise year on year, with 738 legal professionals seeking help in 2020, a rise of 9% on the previous year.

The charity received 964 calls, webchats, and emails to their support service in 2020. The most common problems cited were stress (23%), anxiety (15%), bullying (10%), depression (10%) and worries about career development (10%). The number of people contacting LawCare experiencing anxiety has seen the biggest increase - from 45 people in 2019 to 111 last year.

The majority of those who contacted the support service were women (69%). 50% were trainees/pupils, or had been qualified less than five years, and a further 6% were law students.

From March 2020, 34% of all calls, emails and webchats to the LawCare support service had a COVID element. Of these, the most common issues reported were:

•              Worsening of existing mental health issues (13%)

•              Not being permitted to work from home (12%)

•              Struggling to adapt to WFH due to poor supervision, procedures, or provision of equipment (11%)

•              Feeling isolated (11%)

•              Being overloaded with work, typically because colleagues had been furloughed (9%)

There were also practical issues related to childcare, relationship strain, redundancy or inability to find a job (including job offers made before COVID being withdrawn) and financial concerns. LawCare also heard from legal professionals being asked to work while furloughed.

Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of LawCare, said: ‘Our support service continues to grow and help more people year on year. 2020 was a challenging year for most, we are not surprised that anxiety increased at a time of great worry and uncertainty.  In addition our website traffic increased by 50% and we allocated more peer supporters and funded more counselling sessions last year than ever before.  We expect demand to continue to grow in 2021 as legal professionals continue to navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19.’

Anyone working in the legal industry including support staff can contact LawCare for free, confidential, emotional support on 0800 279 6888, email support@lawcare.org.uk or visit www.lawcare.org.uk

For more 2020 statistics the full report is at www.lawcare.org.uk/impact *

 

ENDS

 

*NB this page is also embargoed and hidden on our site until 28th Jan

 

For all media enquiries contact Gemma Matthews, Communications Manager on gmatthews@lawcare.org.uk or 0208 777 2176 /07813 949633

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Reasons for contacting LawCare

•              Alcohol – 1.5%

•              Anxiety – 15%

•              Bereavement – 1%

•              Bullying – 10%

•              Career Development – 10%

•              Depression – 10%

•              Disciplinary – 7%

•              Ethical Issues – 3%

•              Financial difficulties – 4%

•              Relationship issues – 2.5%

•              Stress – 23%

•              Other – 13% (this includes 4 calls about domestic abuse, 2 about racism, 2 about sexual harassment, 2 about vicarious trauma, plus chronic illness, redundancy, and other issues which did not fall into existing categories)

About LawCare

•              LawCare is an independent charity offering emotional support, information and training to the legal community in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. We work to promote good mental health and wellbeing in legal workplaces.

•              We’re here to help through our confidential helpline, email, webchat and one-to-one  peer support network. The helpline number is 0800 279 6888  and you can access other support, information and resources at www.lawcare.org.uk

•              We help all branches of the legal profession: solicitors, barristers, judges, Chartered Legal Executives, paralegals, trade mark attorneys, patent attorneys, costs lawyers, support staff and concerned family members.

 

•              Our support spans the legal life from student to training to practice and retirement.



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