“I just couldn’t shut my brain and divorce myself from sensitive things and I became objectionable sitting at home.”
As the pressure and pressure increased, Mr. Gates-Caesar began to cut himself off from himself and his family and his clients. He says he started avoiding clients and phone calls.
That was seven years ago when Mr. Gates-Caesar was caught in despair.
The NSW Law Society will launch a new mental health support service on Monday that will give solicitors access to three free confidential sessions with a psychologist each year. Telephone counseling is also available for solicitors in crisis. The new SOS hotline 1800 592 will be open 24 hours a day, 296 days a week.
Richard Harvey, president of the NSW Law Society, said the launch of the new SOS service, the first of its kind offered by his organization, comes at a time when many lawyers are working on the economic and social impact of the COVD-11 epidemic.
“As we are well aware, the legal profession is not far from its own sensitivity to mental health issues,” Mr. Harvey said.
“It is possible that some members of the legal profession will be at greater risk due to uncertainty about the scale, duration and impact of COVID-19, the challenge of working remotely, lack of regular practice and other factors such as social barriers.
“While many large law firms and organizations provide assistance through their employee support programs, there are solicitors in small practice, especially in regional areas, who do not have access to this assistance.”
Mr Harvey said the new service was in response to feedback from solicitors about their need.
“Solicitors are a part of the community they serve, and when you hit the bushfire, the drought, the flood, and then the Cavid-19, it hits hard.”
“Law is a highly brainwashed business and we need to make sure we support them if the solicitors fight.”
The new service aims to address a wide range of mental health issues, including solicitors’ concerns, frustrations, burnouts and threats.
As the principal and director of the Supreme Coleman Greg Lawyers, Mr. Gates-Caesar has now hinted at drawing a clear line between work and household.
“My work life balance is good and I got help going,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. Things wouldn’t have changed if I hadn’t gone and talked to someone and not talked.
“The other thing that really helped is that I came through its stigma. I’m glad to talk about it. “
Mr Gates-Caesar said it was important for other lawyers to know that mental illness had not damaged his career.
She has changed jobs and become more autonomous and works with very helpful colleagues and business partners.
“The support I’ve received at home and at work has made all the difference in the world,” he said.
Sydney-based clinical and forensic psychologist Dr Chris Lennings says lawyers are usually strong and tough-headed, but because of their huge workload, litigation pressures and emotional pressure against family-courts, they can be frustrating over time and put them in front of frustration. Can
“No matter how strong you are, no matter how strong you are, it can be problematic,” he said.
Anna Patty is a senior author at the Sydney Morning Herald focusing on higher education. She is a workplace editor, education editor, state political reporter and health reporter.
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