Lawcare offers insight on the benefits of seeking - and giving - emotional support to colleagues.
We all know the phrases ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ or ‘it’s good to talk’ but the benefits in talking about how you are feeling go far beyond this. LawCare tells us more.
Social and emotional support and the role of individuals, families and communities are vital to managing wellbeing. We all need someone to talk to about personal matters in confidence, without judgement and to offer help when needed. When in a difficult situation we can lose our problem-solving abilities - it can be impossible to focus and seem overwhelming to choose what action to take. Sometimes a listening ear and a nudge in the right direction is all we need to take the next step.
For some it’s not as easy as talking to a friend or family member. Perhaps you don’t want to worry them, they have their own problems or you may not have spoken to them in a while because you’ve been so busy at work. They may not understand what your work environment is like or the particular issues you are facing. You might be afraid to unburden yourself or let go in front of them. Some of us don’t have people we can turn to in difficult times for a variety of reasons.
At LawCare, through our helpline and peer support network, we offer emotional support - our staff are working in or have previously worked in the law. We use our shared personal experiences and characteristics to provide knowledge, emotional assistance, experience, practical help and social interaction.
Why we need support
A review of over 1,000 research studies on peer support found that:
- It helps people to feel more knowledgeable, confident, happy
- It helps people feel less isolated and alone
- The mutuality and reciprocity builds social capital, which in turn is associated with wellbeing and resilience
- The opportunity to support each other is mutually beneficial
- It helps us build empathy and fosters positive behaviour.
- Contact LawCare
If you can’t sleep for thinking about work, feel panic when you have to attend a meeting, spend hours at your desk but don’t seem to be getting anywhere, are worried about finances or your relationship - LawCare is available to listen, whatever the problem. This is a free service for all branches of the legal profession including support staff, from student to training, to practice and retirement.
Call 1800 991 801 or visit www.lawcare.ie for support.
This article originally appeared in the April 2019 Law Society eZine. For more information, and to subscribe, visit eNewsletters.