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Seven in ten professionals experience mental ill-health, study finds

According to legal mental health charity LawCare, only 56% of those surveyed who had experienced mental ill-health had talked about it at work

Nearly seven in 10 (69%) of legal professionals reportedly experienced mental ill-health in the year leading to the period of October 2020 to January 2021.

According to legal mental health charity LawCare, only 56% of those surveyed who had experienced mental ill-health had talked about it at work.

Taking into account 1,700 professionals across the UK, Ireland, Guernsey, and Isle of Man, respondents were asked a range of wellbeing questions spanning work intensity, burnout, autonomy, and psychological safety.

Of those surveyed, professionals between the ages of 26 and 35 displayed the highest burnout scores, with female law professionals and those with disabilities also seeing higher than average burnout levels.

Moreover, over a third of participants (35%) estimated that they had slept between six and seven hours per night in the two weeks prior to the survey, while over one in ten (12%) had slept for under five hours a night in the same period.

Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO at LawCare, said: “This research, the first of its kind in this country, provides robust evidence that the legal profession is stressed, tired, anxious, at high risk of burnout and that those working practices in the law that undermine mental health need to change. 

“We want this research to be the catalyst for us to come together as a profession to create that change, to create a culture in law that puts the law’s greatest asset – it’s people – first.”

She added: “The experience of living and working through a global pandemic has had a profound effect on us all and presents an opportunity like no other to reimagine the future and make it happen.”

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