This time last year, rumours of a serious virus were circulating around the world. After a year of fluctuating rules and restrictions, which have seemingly reflected the optimism of individuals in society, we are back to where we began in (yet another) lockdown. The impact that lockdown has had on individuals is severe, and in addition it has highlighted the hidden pandemic of the deteriorating mental health position in society.
Being somewhat trapped indoors has taken its toll on all of us, especially on those who have had to uproot their working environment and learn how to work from home. While some mental challenges of office life are lessened, many aspects which people struggled with are enhanced by the lack of support and camaraderie included in office life. This blog will detail some useful tips and resources which our members can utilise.
Last month we partnered with SAMH, Scotland’s leading mental health charity, to organise a lunchtime event and discussion, which highlighted some of the mental health problems people are facing.
Through an educational and thought-provoking talk, Emma Gray from SAMH gave her top tips to maintain and improve mental wellbeing whilst working from home:
In addition to SAMH, the Law Society of Scotland understands that people’s mental health is a priority during this difficult time. LawScot Wellbeing is a comprehensive and dedicated online resource which provides guidance and support to members and employers. It includes webinars and modules that individuals can work through to help their mental wellbeing. They work in partnership with LawCare, SAMH, NHS Scotland and SeeMe to give members to support necessary to maintain good mental health.
As highlighted in an article with LawCare in 2017 a study of the mental health and wellbeing of students showed that law students suffer from greater levels of stress in comparison to other courses such as medicine. It is important to mention that a third of calls to LawCare come from students, those in training, and up to 5 years qualified, which is a remarkable number. As one of LawScot’s partners, LawCare is an external organisation which provides information and support to anyone in the legal community who is experiencing mental health and wellbeing problems. They aim to promote understanding and improve the culture and practice in law. During the pandemic, they have been active in giving support to those in need through their confidential helpline, by email (links to their resources are noted below).
At the SYLA, we encourage all our members to reach out and utilise all resources if you are struggling with your mental health while working. We must remember that this present situation is not forever, normality is on the horizon, and in the meantime, we must continue to look after ourselves and one another.
The SYLA’s door is always open, and any of our Committee are available for a confidential, and informal chat to support each and every member of SYLA.