Mental health and wellbeing counselling for legal firms and organisations
Welcome to the Support for Lawyers information and ‘how to’ page, for law firms and organisations which employ staff in the legal industry.
The mission of Support for Lawyers is to create cultural change in the legal industry, so that openness about emotional health and psychological wellness are normalised in the workplace. We do that by providing firm-wide access to regular wellbeing checks.
Wellbeing is more than yoga
People & Culture professionals know good wellbeing has become potentially the most important workplace issue for staff and organisations alike. They know that wellbeing takes more than yoga, meditation and gym memberships.
It is known that staff wellbeing contributes to productivity, staff retention and an engaged workforce. We know that most firms genuinely care about their workforce, and may engage an EAP for when people reach crisis point. But imagine what it would do for both staff and firm if the crisis didn’t happen? What would happen if everyone was cared for as a matter of routine, with prevention rather than cure? Goals like employer of choice, harmonious workplace culture, low absenteeism and higher productivity suddenly look more achievable. This is where Support for Lawyers comes in.
Support for Lawyers is different from an EAP.
Here’s why and how it works.
It’s like an apple a day, well, a check-in a month actually.
When you join Support for Lawyers and choose one of our support packages, our team of psychologists and counsellors is available to each member of your firm to check-in at any time that suits their busy schedule-in or out of hours. It’s as easy as a chat, but much more valuable. It’s a chat that can make sure your most important asset-the staff who provide your service-are cared for and have a way to deal with potential problems early.
Our psychologists and counsellors work online, and are equipped to deal with crises, and they do so. Support for Lawyers though, aims to prevent those crises with routine care that happens when leaders and staff commit to regular debriefing check-ins with counsellors.
When everyone in the organisation has their regular check-in, this normalises the program, removing the stigma associated with psychological care, as with counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists for whom this is mandatory. We see these check-ins as similar to CLE, in building excellent workforces.
Sometimes staff have private issues that can reflect in their work and the workplace. Support for Lawyers allows staff to work through those issues discreetly, just as with any work-related issue that can have an impact on wellbeing and performance.
To misquote another healthcare cliche, it’s the AllBran principle. If you use it, you don’t need it.
We've helped firms just like yours.
We understand your unique problems and we're here to support you.
Our counsellors and psychologists
All our psychologists and counsellors are highly qualified, deeply experienced practitioners.
They have worked within the legal industry and with lawyers in various ways, and they understand the challenges of legal practice.
Benefits to organisations include:
- Staff retention and loyalty
- High productivity
- Equipping staff to be at their best for clients
- Being approachable by staff
- Happy workplaces
- Positive reputation in the industry, as leaders and innovators
- Being seen as a genuinely caring employer
- Being an employer of choice
- OH&S compliance
And, the Big Benefits
Remember the virtuous circle of law firm management? Great people deliver great work, which attracts great clients, which attracts great people.
What gets in the way of that? Too much wok, stress, self-expectation demanding clients, and those occasional events like bullying behaviour. Not to mention trauma from cases and private circumstances. These things cause your great people not to feel so great, and the same can be said of the work they produce.
Front line work
In many ways, lawyers are front line professionals. They deal with people in crisis. Their work can be challenging both professionally and personally, and it’s almost always under time pressure. Add to that, the outcome of their work has big consequences. It’s a lot to deal with.
Its understood that other professionals who deal with people in crisis have mandatory psychological care, supervision, or debriefing. The legal industry, however, takes pride in its coping ability, wearing long hours of hard work and the complexity of that work as a badge of honour.
We can help with that.
The challenges of the legal workplace
Employers and peers are not always aware of what is going on for colleagues and employees, particularly when work takes place off-site, and because the industry view is that vulnerability equals frailty or weakness, people are careful to keep their struggles private. Some in the industry are surprised at the range of challenges that their colleagues perceive in the work they do, the workplace and the legal system. These challenges include:
- Demanding clients
- Client complaints
- The burden of responsibility
- Imposter syndrome
- Life balance
- Peer relationships
- Fear of failure
- Employee/employer issues
- Lack of mentoring
- Fear seeking support will affect your career
- Loss of motivation
The preventative approach of Support for Lawyers is to provide all members of a firm with the opportunity to debrief critical moments, and to build capacity and resilience with the daily challenges of practice, that nearly everyone experiences.
How does this work?
- Support for Lawyers will provide your firm with communications materials for firm members
- An HR pack
- Lunch room posters
- Access to Special Days events and Masterclasses
- A code for staff to book their session, which is billed to the firm, and is anonymous to all areas of the firm.
We encourage you to trial our service with regular, monthly check-ins for a section of your firm and see the difference it makes. Staff will feel supported by the firm, effective in their role and empowered by feeling on top of the inevitable challenges of their work.
Contact us to discuss your needs and we will tailor a service to suit your firm and your people.