Common barriers to reaching out to LawCare for support
At LawCare we know that it can be very difficult to reach out for support when you are having a hard time. In this article we’ve tried to allay some common fears people have around speaking to us to put your mind at rest. If you need to talk to someone please do contact us, you may be surprised at the difference it can make to your wellbeing just talking to someone about what’s going on.
I can’t contact LawCare because…
1…my employer, regulator or professional body will find out
You don’t need to worry; our service is confidential there are very limited circumstances where we would ever share information, our confidentiality policy is available on our website if you would like to take a look. We won’t ask for your roll number or details of your workplace and you don’t have to give your name. You choose how much information you want to give. We are independent of professional bodies and regulators. We report nothing to them beyond statistics.
2…the person on the helpline might know me or recognise my voice
Our volunteers and staff are based all over the UK so this situation is very unlikely to arise. If however it was to happen you can continue with your call safe in the knowledge that anything you say will be treated with confidence as we offer a space to talk without judgement. However, if you prefer you could leave your details and another member of our team can call you back, or contact us through our email or online chat service.
3…they won’t be able to talk to me because I’m not a solicitor
We are the mental wellbeing charity for the legal profession and are here to help all branches of the legal sector from student to retirement: solicitors, barristers, judges, law students, trainees, paralegals, support staff and concerned family members of those working in the profession.
4…my problems aren’t bad enough, I know that other people have it much harder
Your feelings are valid. We are here to listen and offer emotional support. We provide a safe confidential space for you to talk through whatever is on your mind and we can signpost you to other support agencies. It is better to contact us when an issue is just starting and to seek support before matters escalate.
5…I don’t have a mental illness
There is no minimum threshold for contacting LawCare. We understand that everyone has physical and mental health and we firmly believe that both need to be looked after. We want you to know that whether you’re having a bad day and just don’t feel yourself or if your issue is longer lasting we’re here for you. Please reach out and let us support you.
6…no one will understand what I’m going through
All of our volunteers and staff have worked in the law and understand the particular pressures that those working in the profession may experience. We are also able to offer peer support. Our peer supporters have legal practice experience and may have been through difficult times themselves. They can offer ongoing one-to-one support, friendship and mentoring.
7…it won’t help me
People often let us know that they feel better after just one chat with us. Sometimes reaching out and getting a chance to offload to someone who can empathise with what you are going through can be really useful to help get you back on track. Whilst we can’t promise a particular outcome we recently carried out a survey where we contacted our people three months after they initially contacted LawCare; 98.5% said they would recommend LawCare to others. We think it is worth a try, what is there to lose?
8…I’m too embarrassed to admit to having a problem and seek help. What would others think of me?
At LawCare we encourage you to practice self-compassion. We suggest thinking about how you would advise friends, family or colleagues if they came to you with a similar problem. Would you judge them? The answer is usually that you would offer support and wouldn’t judge. Please don’t deny yourself the opportunity to seek support, don’t risk becoming more unwell or unhappy before taking that step.
9…I’m so overwhelmed I might get upset
Please don’t worry, this isn’t uncommon and no one will judge you. If you need to take a moment to compose yourself our team will give you that time, there is no rush and there will be no time limit. If you feel that it would help you to instead write down how you are feeling then maybe you might prefer to contact us on our support email or by online chat.
10…there is so much going on in my head and I might not be able to put into words what I want to say
That’s ok, you can take your time. Picking up the phone is a good first step. Our helpline staff and volunteers are all trained, they will listen and can help you break down your issues and talk through whatever you want to address, taking it one step at a time.
It takes courage to reach out, seek support and share what you are going through but if you feel ready and before things start to feel more difficult please contact our helpline on 0800 279 6888, email [email protected] or access online chat and other resources at www.lawcare.org.uk
We understand life in the law. We’re here to listen. We’re here to support you.
The content on this page has been provided by LawCare.