Recognising and responding to mental health challenges
18 October 2017
It is reported that one in three lawyers will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. Therefore, it is important for leaders to identify the signs of an emerging mental health issue in an employee, know the interventions that can be implemented to address mental health difficulties, and enhance employee wellbeing before it becomes a significant problem.
The unique pressures and influences present in legal practice can have a significant impact on mental health and wellbeing. Common traits and influences include perfectionism, a focus on high achievement, maintenance of an image of competence, the ability to pay meticulous attention to detail, and the capacity to think critically to prevent mistakes.
The following signs may be indicative of a team member who is experiencing difficulties with their psychological wellbeing:
- missing work
- easily overwhelmed
- ineffectively dealing with stress
- decreased productivity and efficiency
- increasingly quiet, withdrawn or deflated
- reduction in social interactions
- noticeably low mood and low energy levels
- overreacting to situations or easily agitated
- appearing excessively nervous or worried.
There are several important actions a manager can do to promote wellbeing, and the ‘Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation Psychological Wellbeing: Best Practice Guidelines for the Legal Profession’ are intended to support the profession and provide methods of management that assist in the creation and maintenance of psychologically healthy and supportive workplaces.
Find out more by visiting the resilience and wellbeing portal on the QLS website where resources such as the video titled ‘what can managers do to promote wellbeing’ and factsheets can be accessed.
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