By -

The President of the Law Society of New South Wales will welcome a panel of mental health in the law experts to discuss how lawyers can prevent stress factors in the workplace that often lead to burnout and depression.

Brain drain from overwork, professional and emotional pressure, or still the remnants from two years in isolation, mental health can affect solicitors in different ways.

Dr Sadhbh Joyce, leading psychologist at the Black Dog Institute, said, “law is a very stressful profession – it’s up there with frontline workers, first responders and people in the field of health who are at higher risk of mental health difficulties.”

To continue its commitment to support solicitors and law professionals dealing with all mental health matters, the Law Society has organised a free panel discussion on how lawyers and practice leaders can deal effectively with workplace stressors and prevent burnout, anxiety and depression.

Hosted by the President of the Law Society, Casandra Banks, the panel features three mental health experts who specialise in the effects of practising law on practitioners’ wellbeing: Associate Professor in Psychiatry Greg de Moor from Westmead Hospital, Clinical Psychologist Renee Mill, and Brett Feltham from King & Wood Mallesons.

“A preventive approach equips practitioners with skills as seemingly straightforward as better management and building into each day wellbeing strategies to improve work/life balance”, Banks said. “These strategies aren’t always top of mind for lawyers drive to perfection, weighed by demanding workloads and high expectations of clients.”

Focusing on the health and wellbeing of the legal profession is one of the priorities set by Banks for her term as 2023 President.

“As a lawyer who has practised extensively in child protection matters and family law,” she said.

“I’m familiar with the stressors that can affect practitioners, including vicarious trauma resulting from reading disturbing files or even listening to harrowing details of incidents experienced by clients.”

The session is fully booked, but a complimentary recording will be available on demand to members of the Law Society’s CPD platform, LawInform.

The Law Society of NSW provides a free psychological support service to all NSW Solicitors. The Solicitor Outreach Service (SOS) is available for all NSW solicitors. Registered psychologists experienced with the issues often faced by legal professionals are on duty 24 hours a day.