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Mental health charity LawCare sees calls about bullying, harassment double

Legal mental health charity LawCare received its highest ever number of helpline calls from lawyers in 2018, with calls about bullying and harassment nearly doubling.

The charity dealt with 932 calls in 2018 from 624 callers, a 5% increase on the number of calls in 2017.

The most common reason for calling was stress (26%), followed by depression (19%) and anxiety (11%). Calls about bullying and harassment rose from 38 calls in 2017 to 68 last year. 

The majority of callers to the helpline were women (64%) and 48% were trainees/pupils or had been qualified five years or fewer.

Other issues included concerns about disciplinary proceedings (8%), career development (9%), chronic illness, alcohol and drugs, and relationship issues.

Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of LawCare, said: “2018 was our busiest year to date on the helpline since we started over 20 years ago. Whilst we are pleased more lawyers are reaching out to us for support, we remain increasingly concerned about the long hours and heavy workload culture in the law which significantly affects wellbeing.

“We are particularly concerned about the number of callers citing bullying and harassment in the workplace, it is absolutely essential that legal practice organisations take steps to stamp this out and take the wellbeing and treatment of staff seriously.”

For support call the helpline on 0800 279 6888 in the UK and 1800 991 801 in Ireland, or for more information visit www.lawcare.org.uk or www.lawcare.ie