The number of legal professionals contacting the charity LawCare for emotional support continues to rise year on year, with 677 people seeking help in 2019.
The charity, which runs a helpline, webchat, email and peer support service for the legal profession, and is supported by the Law Society of Ireland, received over 900 contacts in 2019 and saw an 8% rise in the number of people seeking help compared to 2018.
Stress and depression
The most common problems cited were stress (26%) and depression (12%).
The number of lawyers contacting the charity about bullying continues to increase, from 47 callers in 2018 to 80 last year – now accounting for 12% of all contacts.
Bullied by a manager
Two-thirds, or 66% of those who contacted LawCare about this issue, said they were being bullied by a manager or superior.
The majority of callers to the helpline were women (67%). And 53% of all callers were trainees/pupils, or had been qualified less than five years, and a further 5% were law students.
LawCare chief Elizabeth Rimmer said: “We spent 304 hours providing support on the phone last year, answering a call every 2 ½ hours.
“Last year also saw the launch of our new webchat service enabling us to provide support to more people.
"The biggest trend we’ve noticed is the number of people contacting us about bullying and harassment which is now one of the top three issues people contact us about, possibly because of a lot more attention on this issue in the media over the past couple of years.”
LawCare will do more detailed research later this year to discover exactly how the culture of law is impacting on wellbeing and mental health.
For support, call the helpline on 1800 991 801 in Ireland, or for more information visit http://www.lawcare.ie/