HeraldScotland:

Katie McKenna, Law Society of Scotland Head of Engagement for high street solicitors

A gathering of senior lawyers from around the globe in Edinburgh this month highlighted the growing importance of wellbeing in the workplace.

Delegates from as far afield as Canada, Singapore and the USA considered the role of legal regulators in driving awareness around mental health and wellbeing and what can be done to alleviate the stigma surrounding  the topic – with those in the audience agreeing that employers and professional bodies have a leading role to play.

There is clearly a business and moral case for providing support to ensure a healthy workplace. Being a responsible employer means understanding how to support employees in maintaining good physical, mental and emotional health as well as providing career development and opportunities for growth. In this age of increased competition for talent in the legal profession, it’s really positive to see so many firms  investing in the mental health of employees’ health and benefitting from their high-quality legal knowledge and the tangible rewards this investment brings, such as reduced absenteeism, higher engagement and a boost to productivity.

HeraldScotland:

Working in law can be highly stressful and solicitors, like so many professionals, want to deliver for their clients and often work long hours to do so. This dedication to high standards and service shouldn’t be to their personal detriment.

Changing attitudes means people are more willing to talk about their mental health and personal experiences but there is still so much more to be done. It’s vital that we work collectively to challenge any stigma around emotional and mental wellbeing and as the professional body for Scottish solicitors, we want to lead change and champion best practice.

As part of our Lawscot Wellbeing initiative, we are working in collaboration with our members, NHS Scotland, LawCare, SeeMe, SAMH and other mental health charities to help Scottish solicitors and their colleagues access the support they might need for themselves, a colleague or their client. Find out more at www.lawscot.org.uk/wellbeing