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Lexis+ AI
Nicola Laver

Editor, Solicitors Journal

Sharp increase in anxious lawyers asking for help

Sharp increase in anxious lawyers asking for help


LawCare has reported a sharp increase in legal professionals asking for help because of anxiety during 2020

The charity LawCare has reported a sharp increase in legal professionals asking for help because of anxiety during 2020.

It also revealed most of those contacting the charity were women. 

In its 2020 impact report, the charity reported a 9 per cent increase in the number of requests for help compared to the previous year.

Since March, when the first national lockdown was imposed, a third of contacts’ problems had a covid-19 element.
Twice the number of people also received ongoing support from LawCare peer supports compared to the previous year.

For the 738 legal professionals who contacted the charity last year, stress was cited as the most issue (23 per cent). 

While bullying, depression and worries about career development were also real concerns, the number of people getting in touch about anxiety significantly increased from 45 people in 2019 to 111 in 2020. 

Further issues included deteriorating mental health, not being allowed to work from home, isolation and struggling to adapt to remote working.

Some had childcare issues, while others were overloaded with work or expected to work despite being on furlough. 

There were also concerns around redundancy and finances. 

Unsurprisingly, the majority of contacts were from women (69 per cent) who have been bearing the brunt of juggling work and caring responsibilities during the pandemic.

Half of them were from the junior end of the profession, including students and trainees. 

“2020 was a challenging year for most,” said LawCare’s CEO Elizabeth Rimmer. 

She commented: “We are not surprised that anxiety increased at a time of great worry and uncertainty … We expect demand to continue to grow in 2021 as legal professionals continue to navigate the challenges presented by covid-19.”

Rimmer added that the support service is growing; and last year more peer supporters were allocated and more counselling sessions funded than ever before. 

LawCare’s website traffic also increased by 50 per cent, with more than 60,000 people visiting the site last year.  

Readers can call LawCare's confidential helpline on 0800 279 6888, email  or access webchat and the covid-19 hub of resources here

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