The NDSLS has become signatories to the TJMF Psychological Wellbeing: Best Practice Guidelines for the Legal Profession.
In a study facilitated by UNSW in 2008, 46% of law students and a staggering 56% of solicitors reported experiences of depression in their study or work practice. Compared to students of other disciplines, law students were also twice as likely to report high levels of distress in their daily lives. These statistics may or may not be surprising, but they must never be ignored.
The Notre Dame Sydney Law Society, along with a host of other law societies, schools, firms and other organisations around the country are making it a priority to raise mental health awareness and support services for those studying law or working in the legal profession.
Much of this amazing work could not be possible without the support and initiative of the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation (TJMF). Started by the parents of a young lawyer who tragically died from depression, the Foundation has tirelessly persevered to place mental health on the agenda, not just to be superficially acknowledged, but to be understood deeply and managed effectively by legal organisations, schools and workplaces.
The heart of TJMF’s work is its Best Practice Guidelines, which help legal organisations to create a strategy that is tailor-made to their needs in order to create a healthier work environment for their members. NDSLS has become a signatory to the Guidelines, and will endeavour to help forge a path for student-based legal organisations to tackle the issues of mental health and their effect on the student community.
Keep on the lookout for NDSLS and TJMF initiatives that are in the works for 2015. Of course, here are some helpful points of contact for any and all of us who would benefit from anonymous, professional support with whatever we may be going through.
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Read the Guidelines for yourself here.