Seeking mental wellbeing

help and support

Support for solicitors

It takes courage to acknowledge that you are experiencing difficulties with your mental wellbeing and need support. The Law Society is here to support you by providing different routes by which you can access psychological support, both in the immediate term and ongoing. You will find information about those services and organisations below. 

Lifeline for Lawyers

Lifeline for Lawyers is available 24 hours, 7 days a week to provide immediate support to solicitors experiencing or approaching psychological or emotional crisis or are in distress. You can call 1800 085 062 at any time or chat online from 8pm to 4am (AEST) at 
www.lifeline.org.au/crisischat. You will speak confidentially to a Lifeline qualified and experienced crisis supporter 

About Lifeline for Lawyers 
Lifeline is engaged by the Law Society to provide its members with free access to an independent confidential 24-hour support service for solicitors in distress with psychological, emotional or work­related health issues. Under no circumstances are details of individual calls made available to the Law Society. 

What happens when you call or chat? 
A Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporter will answer your call to 1800 085 062 and: 

  • Listen to your situation
  • Provide immediate support
  • Assist to clarify options and choices available to you
  • Provide you with referral information for other services in your local area

Lifeline also provides online crisis support every night from 8pm - 4am (AEST). Access this service online at www.lifeline.org.au/crisischat

Who do you speak to? 
All Lifeline for Lawyers Crisis Supporters are qualified and experienced, and calls to the service are strictly confidential. The person available to help you in your time of need has undertaken a comprehensive, nationally accredited training program administered by Lifeline. They participate in clinical supervision as part of their professional development. Each Crisis Supporter is individually accredited by Lifeline and must maintain accreditation to continue to answer your calls. 

Crisis Supporters responding to the Lifeline for Lawyers Crisis Support service are amongst the most experienced Crisis Supporters within Lifeline. 

What is Crisis Support? 
Lifeline for Lawyers provides crisis support and does not operate as an ongoing therapeutic counselling service. Crisis support is short term - providing people with assistance, non-judgemental support, and resources in their time of need. The main aim of crisis support is to help reduce stress and improve the person's ability to cope with their current situation, as well as with any future crises. 
Lifeline believes that crisis support saves lives. Lifeline is committed to reaching out to those in crisis to offer an immediate response when difficulties seem overwhelming. Crisis support prevents unsafe and damaging reactions to difficulties and creates opportunities for personal growth and change.

Why should you call? 
Help seeking can have many benefits. Getting support during tough times can help you to: 

•    Feel less stressed and relieved through sharing your feelings
•    Find solutions and ways to cope
•    Gain perspective
•    Reduce your sense of isolation and loneliness
•    Build stronger relationships with family and friends
•    Prevent problems from getting worse or leading to more serious issues
•    Assist others when they need it

Confidentiality assured 
Maintaining confidentiality of callers is of critical importance. Calls to the service are confidential, and details about calls to the Lifeline for Lawyers Crisis Support service remain confidential unless the caller is identified at imminent risk of harm or the service is compelled to do so by law. Calls to the Lifeline for Lawyers Crisis Support service are not recorded. 

In instances where a caller is at imminent risk of harm, a Crisis Supporter is trained to implement a protocol that, as far as possible, maintains the safety of the caller. This protocol includes, amongst other things, activating processes to allow the tracing of the caller's location and alerting emergency services. 

Under no circumstances will details of individual calls be made available to The Law Society of New South Wales. All information provided to Lifeline is confidential and treated in accordance with Lifeline's privacy policy. 

Lawcare

If you are interested in accessing ongoing professional psychological treatment support, you can contact LawCare on 0416 200 788, a professional and confidential referral service for solicitors and their immediate family members. Counsellors available through LawCare are experienced in treating legal professionals. 

The Specialist Panel

The Law Society provides solicitors with access to an independent panel of specialists available for confidential wellbeing consultation services. Solicitors seeking assistance can contact the listed panel specialists directly to make an appointment for a consultation. 

The Law Society provides solicitors with access to an independent panel of specialists to be contacted independently for confidential consultation services.

Members are encouraged to make contact with any panel member to arrange a consultation. 

The following panel of specialists is available for solicitors and their families to contact directly to make an appointment for a consultation.

Clinical Psychologists have usually completed a six-year training programme at university and specialise in the assessment and diagnosis of major mental illnesses and psychological problems. Clinical psychologists are trained in the delivery of a range of techniques and therapies with demonstrated effectiveness in treating mental health disorders. 

Counsellors have varied training. They usually provide triaging, support and a certain amount of advice or education before referring people whom they see on to a Psychiatrist or Psychologist, if they determine that a more serious illness may be present. 

General Practitioners are capable of providing initial assessment, ordering tests and coming to a provisional diagnosis, as well as developing a management plan. 

Psychiatrists are trained medical practitioners who, after at least six years of undergraduate study, have spent another five to six years in specialist training. Psychiatrists are trained to provide a comprehensive bio-psycho-social assessment, and qualified to exclude organic causes of psychiatric illness, to understand medical and psychiatric co-morbidity dynamics, and to formulate a comprehensive plan of management. 

Psychologists study human behaviour in their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees before undertaking supervised experience and gaining registration. They assist people with everyday problems such as stress and relationship difficulties, and some specialise in treating people with a mental illness. 

Psychotherapists help people to overcome stress, emotional and relationship problems or troublesome habits. A psychotherapist may be a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional, who has had further specialist training in psychotherapy. 

Find a specialist now

Mental health organisations

The mental health organisations below have information about mental health conditions and where individuals can find support. 

beyondblue
beyondblue is the national depression initiative, providing comprehensive online information on the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety and how to help someone. You can also ring their info line on 1300 22 4636 for the cost of a local call. 

The Black Dog Institute
The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit, educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility offering specialist expertise in depression and bipolar disorder. Their website features a host of resources and links, up-to-date research and information on community programs and getting help.