LawCare, the legal mental health charity, has passed the milestone of helping more than 10,000 legal professionals and support staff since it began in 1997.
Initially set up to help solicitors with alcohol problems, LawCare has grown to support everyone working in the legal profession on a range of issues from stress to bullying.
According to its latest annual figures, released today, in 2021 LawCare provided support to 667 people via 662 phone calls, 119 emails and 50 online chats, including providing ongoing peer support to 64 people and funding counselling for 14. The number of people supported is down by about 10% on the record high in 2020, but is still the third highest in LawCare's history and just behind the 2019 total.
The most common problems cited were stress (33%), anxiety (13%), depression (10%), bullying (8%) and worries about career development (8%). The number of people contacting LawCare experiencing stress is still climbing fast – from 170 people in 2020 to 211 last year, a rise of 24%.
The majority of those who contacted the support service were women (69%); 63% of those seeking help were trainees/pupils, or had been qualified less than five years, and a further 5% were law students.
LawCare chief executive Elizabeth Rimmer commented: "We are very proud that we have supported over 10,000 people in the legal community since we began 25 years ago, with a small office space in the corner of our first employee Barry Pritchard’s kitchen and a grant from the Law Society of England & Wales. It’s been a difficult couple of years for us all and we continue to offer free, confidential, emotional support to anyone that needs us in the profession, on any issue that is worrying them, no matter how small. In our 25th anniversary year we plan to extend our advocacy work to help change the culture in the law, making it a healthier and happier place to work."
- LawCare is looking to increase the availability of its online chat support service and is recruiting volunteers to train to cover this service. It is also looking for helpline volunteers who can do Wednesday mornings or afternoons, or Friday afternoons. Full training will be given. Click here to find out more.