LawCare is an independent charity offering emotional support, information and training to the legal community in the UK and Ireland. We work to promote good mental health and well-being in legal workplaces and drive change in education, training and practice.
Our support service offers a safe place to talk without judgement. We’re here to help, with helpline calls, emails and web-chats answered in confidence by trained staff and volunteers who have first-hand experience of working in the law. We also have a network of peer supporters.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
We are particularly concerned to ensure that all our volunteers (including our peer supporters) are aware of how to handle a crisis call that may involve a potential risk to life of the caller. We provide guidelines of how to handle such a call and signpost to frontline services. We also provide a factsheet on prevention of suicide.
We have a good relationship with SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement through Suicide) as one of our volunteers is a founder member. One of our team aims to attend its conference every year.
Another team member is focusing on keeping up with websites such as Samaritans, MIND and Sane to ensure that the team is kept up to date on all recent developments and resources.
It is hoped that in time all of the team will attend the ASIST training and share the knowledge with our volunteers.
What are your current priorities?
Currently we are focusing on certain groups such as young lawyers, LGBT lawyers and local law societies, as well as certain geographical areas, to raise awareness of our services.
Our Communications Manager aims to coincide materials such as blogs, posts and links with dedicated days, e.g. World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September and World Mental Health Awareness Day on 10 October. For example in September of this year we featured a blog from a young lawyer who lost his father to suicide.
What challenges are you currently facing?
We face many challenges as a small charity with a team of six, three of whom are part-time, which include looking after the needs of the volunteers without whose support we could not function. Like many charities we have a very limited budget which restricts what we are able to achieve, in particular advertising and awareness.