The Law Society of Ireland is launching LegalMind, a new mental-health support service to support solicitors today, Thursday 9 April 2020.
LegalMind is an independent, low-cost mental health service accessible to solicitors and their dependants across Ireland at any time of the day or night, provided on a confidential basis.
Launching the new service, President of the Law Society of Ireland Michele O’Boyle said that supports for mental health have never been more important.
“We are currently experiencing challenging and unprecedented times. It is important now, more than ever, to check in on our wellbeing; LegalMind aims to do that by supporting mental health and resilience in the legal community,” she said.
LegalMind was developed in response to a study of the solicitors profession, where over half of respondents said they experienced stress at work.
“We all have different thresholds for stress and strain. It is natural to feel competing emotions and for these emotions to materialise in different ways at unexpected times, particularly when we are out of our comfort zone and daily routine,” said Ms O’Boyle.
Valuing mental health
“As a society, we have come to realise the value of our mental health and talk about it in an open way. The Law Society wants to remove the stigma surrounding mental health in the profession by facilitating access to modern supports,” she said.
“We need to protect our own wellbeing, manage our resilience and seek out help when needed. We cannot be there for our families, friends, colleagues or clients if our own mental health is not in check.” Ms O’Boyle reminded colleagues that “it is human to seek help and to talk with a mental health professional about any worries or emotions that you might have.”
Through LegalMind, solicitors and their dependants can access in-the-moment 24/7 phone support with a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist. This professional will talk through any personal or professional issues the caller may be facing and help them decide if they should avail of further supports.
“Importantly, this service is independent to the Law Society and available on a confidential basis,” said Ms O’Boyle. “I hope my colleagues will utilise this valuable service when needed.”
Solicitors and their dependants can access the first LegalMind appointment free of charge, with reduced fees for further therapeutic appointments.
There are three levels of supports: preventative supports such as talk therapy, early intervention supports for members facing more complex issues and treatment and response supports for members experiencing a mental health crisis.
LegalMind also offers an online portal and app which combines information and content such as podcasts, videos, guidelines and articles on physical wellness, wellbeing, mental health, and wellbeing events.
LegalMind and Covid-19
Solicitors and their dependants can currently avail of therapy sessions online via video and by phone. Face-to-face therapy sessions will resume once restrictions relating to Covid-19 are lifted.
The LegalMind support service can be accessed through the Law Society Professional Wellbeing hub: www.lawsociety.ie/LegalMind