A group of senior figures from Scotland’s legal profession are to kick start a ‘Pass the Badge’ campaign to mark World Mental Health Day this month. 

As part of the Law Society of Scotland’s work to challenge mental health stigma, its President, Amanda Millar, and Chief Executive, Lorna Jack, along with senior figures from organisations including the Faculty of Advocates, Royal Bank of Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council, are sharing their stories about mental health and on challenging stigma and discrimination around mental health from Saturday, 10 October 2020.

The Law Society is encouraging anyone working within Scotland’s legal sector to share positive actions, whether big or small, they take to maintain positive mental health through the  'Pass the Badge' campaign created by See Me, the Scotland-wide programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination. The group launching the campaign will invite colleagues in the profession to take part. 

Passing the Badge are:

  • Amanda Millar, President, Law Society of Scotland
  • Lorna Jack, CEO, Law Society of Scotland
  • Iain Reid, CEO, Faculty of Advocates
  • Kenny Robertson, Head of Outsourcing, Technology & IP, Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Elaine Motion, Chairman, Balfour & Manson
  • Karen Wiles, Head of Legal and Governance Services, Aberdeenshire Council
  • John Scott QC 

The campaign follows Law Society research in 2019 in partnership with See Me, which was the first of its kind to be carried out on a sector-wide basis in Scotland. The findings showed that:

  • 46% of respondents believed opportunities for staff to have open and honest conversations about mental health would create a more positive attitude
  • 39% of respondents felt the senior leaders in their organisation show their commitment to staff mental health

Amanda Millar, President of the Law Society of Scotland, and an accredited specialist in both Mental Health Law and Incapacity and Mental Disability Law, said: “We are committed to tackling mental health stigma and discrimination in the legal profession.

“Opening up conversations around mental health is an important part of our efforts towards changing workplace culture. As leaders in the profession, we have to be the ones to start those conversations and encourage others to share challenges they may have faced themselves, what they do to maintain good mental health or how they act to challenge mental health stigma and support colleagues in the workplace.

“There is no place for such stigma in the legal profession. I hope that by sharing these stories and by ‘passing the badge’, we can shine some light on an issue many of us shy away from for fear of possibly being seen as not committed enough or it being a sign of weakness at work, particularly in what can be a fast-paced and pressurised career.

“I’m very grateful to everyone who has committed to sharing their story and passing the badge on World Mental Health Day and throughout October. I encourage everyone to share their own story or support those taking part.”

Our wellbeing research

We have collaborated with See Me to undertake research into the status of mental health stigma and discrimination in the Scottish legal profession. Read the summary, full report and the seven-step action plan created in response to the findings.

Lawscot Wellbeing

Leading emotional wellbeing for Scottish solicitors and their employees across Scotland, England and Wales and beyond.