A lawyers mental health should not be ignored. By: Hanae Bennani
Mental health and lawyers? Yes of course it exists. Is it openly spoke of? Sometimes. Is it something that people share their views on? On the odd occasion. Is it overlooked? Yes, in most cases it can be. Is it less of a priority? Most of the time.
It’s not as clear cut as this but mental health exists and it affects the workforce if it’s not addressed and dealt with head on.
If Joe Blogs, the supervising lawyer of an intern has a a mental health issue which becomes apparent in the workplace, it is likely to affect the intern too.
I was once at a law office and experienced the affects of someone else’s mental health. Communication didn’t flow, emails were unclear, they became agitated at little things, the person was ambiguous in their instructions and they would stare blank faced but nothing came out from their mouth. I felt uncomfortable and unsettled, coming into work was growing into a challenge daily. Weeks later I shared my concerns with the Human Resources team as I began to feel intimidated by this person. nothing was done and so I felt the right thing to do was leave that place of work given the circumstances.
I sympathized because I suspected that the person had their problems as most people do.
Then I realized those problems shouldn’t have been projected at others. Had that person’s mental health been addressed at the time it would have enabled the work to be conducted properly, communication would flow and the person would deal with their issues head on and not carry the heavy load into work everyday.
After this experience I realized that no matter how big or small the issue may be speaking about it will at least give your mind the space that it needs to recover. If your so much embedded in your own thoughts you may even be unaware of your own actions. Speak out anyway.
Holding onto issues and storing them in your mind can create barriers between you and other people which in turn may result in something far damaging if not dealt with at the Initial stages.
Speak up and speak out. #mentalhealth
Hanae Bennani, Solicitor of England and Wales.