Catherine Hart, Partner at Digby Brown, is one of 14 new mental health and wellbeing advocates to have been appointed by legal mental health charity LawCare. She talks about her new role as a LawCare champion on World Mental Health Day on 10 October.
I am delighted to take on the role of LawCare champion in Scotland and think that it is very important to have mental health advocates in the legal community. As a solicitor in practice for over 25 years, I have seen working in the profession become progressively more challenging. Compliance requirements have increased and technological advances make it more difficult to leave work behind at the end of the day, with the result that achieving a reasonable work-life balance can be difficult. For the past ten years I have been a tutor on the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at Glasgow University, so I have also seen the challenges faced by those entering the profession.”
Lawyers tend to be typical of many professionals in regarding stress as just ‘part of the job’ and an element of stress is inevitable when juggling the demands of clients and others and working towards deadlines. However, there is an increasing awareness that mental wellbeing is just as important as our physical health and that mental health problems are very common. Having the benefit of the confidential service that LawCare provides is invaluable in providing emotional support and information to the legal community. The benefits of talking about our emotional wellbeing have been well recognised. LawCare also carries out excellent work in providing training and in addressing the stigma around mental health. I very much look forward to promoting the important work of the charity and encouraging conversation about mental wellbeing.
The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention, and we must all come together as the legal community to improve dialogue on mental health issues.
You can find out more about the new LawCare champions and watch a new animated video on the LawCare website.