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Over the last twenty years it has become much more acceptable to talk about mental health. When LawCare was set up in 1997, initially to support legal professionals who had difficulties with alcohol, it was difficult for people to get support, or sympathy, and it seemed as if no-one in the profession wanted to engage with the mental health agenda.
There has been a gradual sea change in society and we have witnessed significant growth and change in the legal profession, as organisations start to embrace the mental health agenda and recognise the need to look after those who need support with mental health issues. This has accelerated over the past two years.
In Scotland, Legal Wellbeing Scotland launched in June 2016, bringing together 19 representatives from a range of legal professional and educational establishments Driven by LawCare and the Law Society of Scotland, other members include Scottish Young Lawyers Association, Trainee and Newly Qualified Society Scotland, Society of Law Accountants in Scotland, Scottish Paralegal Association, Burness Paull, Pinsent Masons, Adams Law Blairgowrie, Grieve Grierson Moodie & Walker, FDA Procurators Fiscal section, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Midlothian Council, Edinburgh University Counselling Services, Faculty of Advocates, Jack Grant & Co, Hamilton Ross Solicitors, Brodies Solicitors, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The goal of Legal Wellbeing Scotland is to promote improved mental health and wellbeing in the Scottish legal profession, by raising awareness and providing best practice solutions.
Recently the Law Society of Scotland launched LawScot Wellbeing, a dedicated online portal on the Law Society of Scotland’s website offering information, help and guidance on emotional wellbeing.
LawCare continues to work with the legal community in Scotland to promote and support good mental health and wellbeing to all members of the profession – solicitors, barristers, barrister’s clerks, judges, legal executives, paralegals, trade mark attorneys, patent agents, costs lawyers, and their staff and families. Whilst celebrities and sportspeople now talk openly about their mental health issues in the public domain, many in the legal profession still struggle to open up about their problems. Our helpline on 0800 279 6888 is a safe place to talk without judgement and our peer supporters offer one to one support.
Our mission is to help the legal community with personal or professional concerns that may be affecting their mental health and wellbeing, and to promote understanding of how and when to seek help, without fear or stigma.
Find out more about LawCare at www.lawcare.org.uk or if you need to talk call our helpline on 0800 279 6888. You can also follow us on social media https:/twitter.com/LawCareLtd and https://www.facebook.com/LawCare/
Useful Resources (PDFs)
Additional information, resources and factsheets are available at www.lawcare.org.uk