Depression & Anxiety Working Group Launch
25 March 2010 at 10:51 am
A working group aimed at raising awareness and understanding of the nature and impact of stress, depression and anxiety across the legal profession has been launched.
The Depression & Anxiety Working Group is a collaboration between the Managing Partners and Chief Executive Partners of Allens, Blakes, Clayton Utz, Freehills and Mallesons; together with their Directors of Human Resources; representatives from university law faculties; and The College of Law.
This group was formed partially as a response to the release of the report Courting the Blues: Attitudes towards depression in Australian law students and legal practitioners commonly referred to as The Hickie Report.
The report details the findings of research conducted by the Brain and Mind Research Institute in conjunction with the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation.
It highlights among other things the prevalence of depression and anxiety in law students and the legal profession.
As part of the launch the group announced a new initiative called resilience@law, which includes:
• the launch of a short film developed about mental health in the legal profession; and
• the collaboration with The College of Law on a new component of practical legal training, focussed on mental health and resilience for lawyers at the threshold of their careers.
The objectives of the resilience@law program are to: build awareness and education, remove the stigma and make available self help strategies, support and resources.
David Fagan from Clayton Utz says law firms can no longer ignore the very real threat that depression and anxiety poses to the long-term health and wellbeing of its people.
He says the resilience@law program is an important starting point in actively helping to raise awareness and understanding of what is a profession-wide issue that requires a profession-wide response.