Recently we started arranging fortnightly yoga classes for the team as part of a new approach to supporting the wellbeing and mental health of our team. Some people might think that lawyers don’t do yoga, but looking after each other, especially during these turbulent times, is something that we take seriously as part of our commitment to support the wellbeing of our staff.
A wellbeing in the profession survey undertaken by legal charity LawCare in September 2021 found that more than two-thirds of lawyers (69%) have experienced mental ill-health in the previous year. But perhaps more importantly, the survey of 1,700 legal professionals found that only 56% of those suffering has discussed their problems at work, for fear of the stigma that would be attached to them, resulting in career implications as well as financial and reputational consequences.
The study also found that female legal professionals and those from ethnic minorities are more at risk of suffering burnout, with those aged between 26-35 most affected.
It’s sometimes the case that we don’t always put our greatest asset – our people – first. For over 70 years the World Federation for Mental Health has been running an annual World Mental Health Day and it is perhaps no surprise that their theme this year is to ‘make mental health and wellbeing a global priority.’
Professionals and people from every walk of life need the space and time to look after their mental health. As an industry the legal profession can and should do more to support those lawyers suffering from mental ill health. LawCare (https://www.lawcare.org.uk/) is one such organisation that offers free, confidential, and emotional support to anyone working in law. Give them a call if you need to or join us for some yoga!