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Depressed - Depressed

The Solicitors’ Charity announces 68% increase in claimants with poor mental health

The charity highlighted the rise in solicitors reporting poor mental health in their latest annual statistics report to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.

The report, which publishes data about the circumstances of all their beneficiaries, shows a 68 percent increase in claimants declaring poor mental health from 19 percent to 32 percent.

Mary Jackson, coordinator at LawCare, the legal mental health charity which partners with The Solicitors’ Charity said: “There’s still a misconception that solicitors are ruthless, tough and financially secure, strangers to adversity but they are indeed ‘only’ human as well as being highly driven professionals. Adversity can strike at any time and lawyers aren’t immune from hardship, at the core of every call we receive is stress, worry and often anxiety.

Nick Gallagher, CEO of The Solicitors’ Charity said: “Our annual statistics are often eye-opening, but such a dramatic increase in claimants declaring poor mental health was unexpected. I think there’s an element that people are increasingly more comfortable sharing that they are struggling mentally, whereas previously it was still something you wouldn’t talk about. This brings confidence that the wider message of talking about mental health is working, although it doesn’t provide a solution.

The findings follow the launch of the charity’s COVID-19 response in the form of a £1 million Personal Hardship Fund specifically for those affected by coronavirus who have exhausted other options such as government and statutory support or mortgage holidays.

Nick added: “It was vital that we put additional measures in place to cope with the difficulty many solicitors currently find themselves in. We’ve already processed payments for the initial applicants of the fund and really want to get the message out that we are here to help those in serious financial difficulty with nowhere else to turn during this time and hope the fund can provide some relief and reduce the stress and worry many in the profession are currently experiencing.”

Source: The Solicitor’s Charity