Help for legal practitioners

September 1st, 2022
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In October 2021, the International Bar Association published a report titled ‘Mental Wellbeing in the Legal Profession: A Global Study’. The report revealed that one in three legal practitioners say their work has a negative, or extremely negative impact on their wellbeing. The report also notes:

  • The impact of stigma: 41% would not discuss mental wellbeing concerns with their employer for fear it may have a negative impact on their career.
  • A lack of training: 82% of institutions say they take mental wellbeing seriously – only 16% provide training for senior management.
  • Twenty-eight percent want to see improved workplace culture to create a culture of mutual respect and address poor behaviour.
  • The reasons why people do not speak out –

– 32,1% fear being treated differently as a result;

– 24,1% of employers do not sufficiently recognise mental wellbeing issues; and

– 17,2% fear not being believed/taken seriously (for the full survey see: www.ibanet.org).

It is because of such reports that the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) knows that many of its members are overwhelmed and dealing with anxiety, fear and even resilience fatigue. Please know that help is at hand. The LSSA has collaborated with PPS and the Reality Wellness Group to offer telephonic counselling and support.

The professional telephonic counselling service is available 24/7/365. It consists of:

  • Unlimited telephonic counselling available nationally in all official languages.
  • Face-to-face counselling is managed per intake; the general recommendation is between two to six sessions per incident (which will be for the member/employee’s account).
  • The service is also available to immediate family of the legal practitioner or their employee (spouse and/or children living under the same roof).

The wellness programme will be provided to a maximum of 5 000 legal practitioners per month, for a period of six months. Contact the Reality Wellness Group at: 080 112 2550 or e-mail: eppenage@realitywellness.co.za (please provide your practice number).

When you contact Reality Wellness Group you are subject to the terms and conditions of the Reality Wellness Group and the services that they provide. Below is a table of services on offer:

The LSSA obtains and shares no data with the Reality Wellness Group. The only information shared is the number of people who use Reality Wellness Group’s service.

LSSA services
Call centre management Twenty-four-hour trauma call centre offers personalised assistance to members and immediate family of members – 24/7/365 toll-free number.
Telephonic counselling Twenty-four-hour trauma call centre offers personalised assistance to employees and immediate family members – unlimited telephonic inbound and outgoing.
Please Call Me service Twenty-four-hour trauma call centre offers personalised assistance to employees and immediate family members – unlimited please call me service.
Financial guidance Unlimited telephonic advice on finance matters, budgeting, debt management and debt counselling.
Healthcare, HIV and high risk Nurses carry out follow up calls and share reminders, letting them know that someone cares and is checking in. This includes ongoing telephonic counselling and support, as well as assistance with registering onto treatment programmes.
COVID-19 support All members and their families will be assisted with COVID-19 related queries and counselling, as well as referrals to the nearest testing locations.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2022 (September) DR 3.

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