With it currently being Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May), legal mental health charity LawCare has released data on all the COVID-19 related contacts it has received to date. In total, 48 legal professionals have contacted the charity with issues related to COVID-19 since 10 March, making up over a third (37%) of all contacts to their support service.
The top three issues concerning legal professionals are: not being permitted to work from home, financial issues due to furlough/pay cuts or lack of work, and worsening of existing mental health conditions. Other problems include relationship strain or domestic abuse, childcare issues, postponement of review or exams, and being asked to work whilst on furlough.
LawCare Chief Executive Elizabeth Rimmer said: “We feel this is very much the tip of the iceberg and anticipate in the coming weeks more and more legal professionals will contact us as the emotional and financial impact of the pandemic begins to really hit home. We would like to remind all legal professionals, including support staff, they can contact us for free, in confidence, to discuss anything that is bothering them. Talking through your problems with one of our trained staff and volunteers, who have all worked in the law themselves, can really help.”
In response to the pandemic, LawCare has developed an online COVID-19 hub containing information and resources – this can be found at www.lawcare.org.uk along with access to emotional support via email, webchat, and LawCare’s peer support service. The helpline number is 0800 279 6888 (1800 991 801 in Ireland). LawCare’s support is open to solicitors, barristers, barrister’s clerks, judges, Chartered Legal Executives, paralegals, trademark attorneys, patent attorneys, costs lawyers, and their staff and families.
LawCare is an independent charity offering emotional support, information, and training to the legal community in the UK and Ireland. It works to promote good mental health and wellbeing in legal workplaces.