Let’s continue the conversation… Mental Health and the Legal Profession
Legal Geek - 27/05/2021

So, Mental Health Awareness Week has been and gone—and it’s safe to say it was a success. This year’s theme focused on how connecting with nature can improve your mental health, and organisations across the UK collaborated to raise awareness—including Legal Geek. 

But rallying for change doesn’t just stop once those seven days are up. It’s still our job to ensure the conversation continues, and breaking the stigma around mental health may be a hefty task—but it’s one we must keep working on. 

But why?

According to Deloitte, poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion each year. This figure has risen by 16% since 2016, which equates to an extra £6 billion every year. 

And it’s the legal profession that’s hit the hardest. A recent survey found that 63% of those in the legal industry report feeling stressed daily—making lawyers the second most stressed professionals in the country.

It’s both a health and economic concern, and here at Legal Geek, we’re committed to keeping the conversation alive. That’s why we’ve launched Health Geek—and what’s this, we hear you ask? 

Don’t worry; in this blog, we’ll discuss what Health Geek is, why it’s needed and how it can help organisations like yours access better mental healthcare. 

 

So, what’s Health Geek all about?

We launched Health Geek in 2021 with a simple goal in mind: to connect existing mental health businesses with organisations looking to improve the well-being of their employees.

Through running legal events, we became aware of the issues professionals face in their careers—issues that can affect their mental well-being, relationships, and day-to-day lives. 

So, to help continue to raise awareness and create change, we’ve split Health Geek into two main functions; the Mental Health Tech Map and Events

 

Mental Health Tech Map

We’ve designed the Mental Health Tech Map to help businesses navigate all the mental health and mental well-being organisations your employees can access. 

How it works is that each station stop is named after a mental health organisation. You simply click on their name, and the link will take you straight to their website. From there,  you’ll be able to access resources, advice and information on how you can get your employees the support they need.

To make life easier, each station sits on a colour-coded category line to help you navigate the map. The categories are as follows: Care Provider Network; Online CBT/Counselling; Guided Self-Care/Mindfulness Courses; Journalling; Meditation and Social Media/Peer Community. 

We’ve got some fantastic organisations sitting on the map. For meditation, we have the likes of Headspace and Calm, two of the UK’s leading health apps to help you relieve stress, sleep more and improve your general outlook on life. 

For the Online CBT/Counselling category, we have organisations such as Meru Health and Spill on board. Spill is the all-in-one mental health tool your employees can access through Slack—making it incredibly easy to seek advice from qualified therapists while you’re on the job. 

 

Events

Sticking true to our roots, we’ll also be putting on free events and webinars to help spread awareness and share information. 

Our kickoff event will take place on the 22nd of June, 2021, during Legal Geek North America. There, we’ll discuss mental health tech and some of the challenges organisations face in supporting their employees—with a particular focus on the Mindful Business Charter. 

Leading the discussion will be Jen Estherby, HealthTech Lead at Barclays Eagle Labs; David McCahon, General Counsel and Wellbeing Leader at Barclays; Elizabeth Rimmer, Chief Executive at LawCare. 

It’s going to be good, so click here to sign up and secure your free ticket now! 

 

Why is it needed? 

So, why is something like Health Geek important? We mentioned earlier that the legal industry is home to some of the UK’s most stressed working professionals. 

This is alarming—but not surprising. The nature of law is demanding; you’re dealing with many conflicts, shouldering other people’s problems, and the profession is pretty hierarchal. 

But stress can take a real toll on our health. If it’s left unchecked, stress can lead to many health problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure. There are also significant links to chronic depression, anxiety and even Alzheimer’s disease. 

And with the pandemic thrown in, the industry’s mental health concerns have only grown. LawCare, a fantastic charity that supports legal professionals, had 738 workers contact them for emotional support in 2020—a 9% rise compared to the previous year.

 

Ongoing commitment to mental health

 

LawCare received a whopping total of 964 calls, web chats and emails to their support service during 2020. Stress (23%) and anxiety (15%) were among the most common problems, and the number of people experiencing anxiety saw the biggest increase—doubling in 2020.

So, there’s undoubtedly a need for effective mental health support for the legal profession. We recently teamed up with LawCare, discussing their services in a blog and Instagram takeover—and our collaboration helped find them a new charity partner and generate a lot of discussions. 

This is what Health Geek is all about. Knowledge is power, and through collaborating with these organisations, we can continue to keep the momentum going of supporting legal professionals and their mental health.