Legal mental health charity LawCare has released data on all COVID-19 related contacts it has received to date for Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May). Forty eight legal professionals have contacted the charity with issues related to COVID-19 since 10th 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 have included relationship strain, childcare issues and being asked to work whilst on furlough.
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 a COVID-19 hub full of information and resources at www.lawcare.org.uk, where you can also access emotional support via email, webchat and LawCare’s peer support service. The helpline number is 0800 279 6888 (1800 991 801 in Ireland).
The charity is also asking legal professionals to share moments in their legal career when someone showed them kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week. You can share yours using #momentofkindness and tagging @LawCareLtd on Twitter, or LawCare on Facebook and Linkedin.
LawCare has received 130 contacts (helpline calls, emails, webchats) from legal professionals since 10th March with 48 of those (37%) related to COVID-19
Reasons for contact:
Not being permitted or enabled to work from home: 9
Worsening of existing mental health issues: 8
Financial issues due to furloughing/pay cut/lack of work: 9
Practical issues caused by measures (e.g. childcare problems, house move, transport): 5
Relationship strain or domestic abuse: 3
Postponement of needed review/exams/other: 3
Being asked to work while furloughed: 3
Overloaded with work due to colleagues being furloughed: 2
Distressed and unreasonable clients: 2
Emotional distress/isolation/boredom: 2
Struggling to adapt to working from home: 1
Worried about financial future of firm (employee): 1