Cardiff lawyer appointed by leading charity to champion importance of mental health in legal sector

LawCare has launched a new advocacy scheme ‘LawCare champions’ to coincide with World Mental Health Day on Thursday October 10th.

The legal mental health charity has appointed Capital Law lawyer Clare Good as part of the programme, designed to improve mental health and wellbeing within the legal community. Clare is one of 14 newly appointed LawCare champions from across the UK.

Clare joined Cardiff-based Capital Law as a Commercial Disputes solicitor in April 2019. She is also the Wellbeing officer for both the Cardiff and South East Wales Junior Lawyers Division (JLD), and the Cardiff & District Law Society. The role was created for her, after she stepped down as Chair of the Cardiff JDL in September. That month, she planned a number of fully booked events for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Clare also sits on the South Wales Forum for Tomorrow Committee and assists in organising the Committee’s networking events for young professionals in the property and construction industry.

Speaking about why Clare was chosen to be part of the LawCare programme, Gemma Matthews from the organisation said:

“We chose Clare as a champion as she has a real passion and interest in the wellbeing of lawyers, she has been instrumental in helping us reach more junior lawyers in Cardiff and the events she organised for Mental Health Awareness Week were a huge success. We are excited to continue to work with her in her new role as Wellbeing Officer for the Cardiff Law Society.”

LawCare works to provide information and support to anyone in the legal community experiencing mental health and wellbeing problems. They work to raise awareness, promote understanding and to improve the culture and practice of law.

Between 2018 – 2019 the organisation reported a 5% increase in callers, with 26% of callers stating that stress was the reason for their call, followed by 19% who reported issues with depression. 48% of callers were junior lawyers, students or qualified for five years or less.

Elin Pinnell, Managing Partner at Capital Law, said:

“Being a lawyer is a highly rewarding career, and a demanding one. But this doesn’t mean that having to skip lunch, miss out on social life and work under huge pressure is acceptable. Research shows that mental health impacts the workplace, and vice versa. That’s why it’s so important to have support networks that are tailored for, and understand, our profession.

“We’ve been supporting LawCare for several years, and we’re lucky to count among us several lawyers who, like Clare, are passionate advocates for wellbeing. They truly are ‘champions’, driving a much-needed cultural change. We’ve also trained many members of our staff in Mental Health First Aid courses, to ensure we protect the mental health of our employees as well as their physical health.

“As a firm, we strongly believe that personal and professional development go hand in hand. We have an on-site canteen and quiet areas, and offer weekly yoga classes, sports massage and language classes. But there isn’t a one-size-fit-all solution to mental health issues, which is why we need to keep the dialogue going. Back in May, we teamed up with LawCare to deliver a breakfast seminar for Mental Health Awareness Week. It included a mindfulness session and a talk on mental health in the workplace. The event was very well received, and we look forward to taking part in many more to come.”

Clare joins 14 other new LawCare champions, including James Pereira QC, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Lloyd Rees, and IP inclusive lead executive office Andrea Brewster OBE, with more to follow next year.

Elizabeth Rimmer, Chief Executive of LawCare, said:

“We are very proud to launch this new scheme on World Mental Health Day. This is a cross-jurisdiction, cross-profession initiative and our new champions have all been carefully chosen for their commitment, passion and enthusiasm in raising awareness about the importance of good mental health and wellbeing in the legal community.”

“We hope our champions will help us to drive positive change in the culture of law. The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention, and we must all come together as the legal community to improve dialogue on mental health issues.”

The charity has also launched a new animated video today available at www.lawcare.org.uk   

 

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