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The number of legal professionals contacting independent charity LawCare for emotional support rose by 9% in 2020, according to its latest report. 

Lawcare is an independent charity, offering emotional support, information and training to the UK legal community, and promoting good mental health and wellbeing in legal workplaces. 

738 legal professionals sought help in 2020, for stress (23%), anxiety (15%), bullying (10%), depression (10%) and worries about career development (10%). 

The number of people contacting LawCare experiencing anxiety has seen the biggest increase – from 45 people in 2019 to 111 last year.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact. From March 2020, 34% of all calls, emails and web chats to the LawCare support service were for issues associated with Covid-19.

These included:

  • Worsening of existing mental health issues (13%).
  • Not being permitted to work from home (12%).
  • Struggling to adapt to working from home due to poor supervision, procedures, or provision of equipment (11%).
  • Feeling isolated (11%).
  • Being overloaded with work, typically because colleagues had been furloughed (9%).

Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of LawCare, said: 

“Our support service continues to grow and help more people year on year. 2020 was a challenging year for most, we are not surprised that anxiety increased at a time of great worry and uncertainty.  

“In addition our website traffic increased by 50% and we allocated more peer supporters and funded more counselling sessions last year than ever before. We expect demand to continue to grow in 2021 as legal professionals continue to navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19.”