This week is mental health awareness week. As junior lawyers, it’s no secret that we suffer from stress and pressure in the workplace, caused by tight deadlines, high expectations and self perfectionism.
The LawCare report, Life in the Law, was published in September 2019 and showed just how serious the mental health crisis is amongst junior lawyers. Of the respondents aged between 26-35 (and therefore likely to be in the earlier stages of their career and in turn more likely to be junior lawyers):
43.6% reported suffering burnout
28.2% raised concerns about autonomy
23.3% raised concerns about psychological safety,
14.3% raised concerns about the intensity of their work
As junior lawyers, it is important that we support one another in any way we can to ensure our colleagues, friends and peers feel there is someone there for them to speak to, should they feel they need to.
For mental health awareness week, members of the Leeds JLD Committee have given their top tips on managing work and life stresses:
“Try not to put pressure on yourself to always be online, especially at the weekend - rest is productive!” - National Representative, Ellie Folger
“Keep a folder of all of your positive emails & feedback to help you feel motivated and boost your self confidence.” - Chair, Ellie Stansfield
“I suggest meditation & chocolate (separately or at the same time!)” - Treasurer, Olamide Owojori
“Fresh air and screen breaks work wonders. Also make sure you take time to rest and completely switch off (including emails on your phone!) and make time to do whatever it is that you enjoy” - Media & Publicity Officer, Danielle Hutchison
“I would advise people to talk about pressures, stresses and issues with friends and family - seemingly obvious but so many people avoid these conversations” - Events Officer, Anna Schiavetta
“I always enjoy walking my dog!” - FELT/ In-House, Harvey Blake
“I would recommend talking therapy and also journaling” - Chair, Ellie Stansfield
If you, or someone you know, need further help and support, you can contact law care on 0800 279 6888 for free, confidential, emotional support to anyone working in the law.