International law firm Slaughter and May has this year enhanced its workplace wellbeing strategy by training its HR and Learning Development teams in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). The legal profession is fast-paced and often high-pressured, with clients setting high expectations in an ever-more competitive world. In response, this Magic Circle law firm has developed a broad approach to supporting staff’s mental wellbeing, which now includes providing MHFA training. 

Recent research by the Law Society found that nearly three-quarters of junior lawyers believe their firm can do more to support mental health in the workplace and around 93% reported experiencing stress in a given month. These figures highlight a need for the sector to do more around mental health and wellbeing and firms like Slaughter and May are leading the way by incorporating training such as MHFA into the workplace.

Katie Gledhill, Head of HR Advisory and Resourcing, Slaughter and May, commented “As a leading international law firm, we work in a high-performance culture which delivers the very best service for all our clients. Supporting the mental wellbeing of our staff with Mental Health First Aid is an essential part of ensuring our employees operate at the very top of their game. We expect a lot from our people and therefore we strive to put in place the best possible support for them.”

Having first heard about MHFA training courses through the firm’s membership of the City Mental Health Alliance, Katie saw MHFA as an effective way to bolster Slaughter and May’s mental health support. She subsequently embarked on arranging its first training courses through MHFA England’s Client Experience Team, and has so far trained ten members of staff. Katie now plans to target others in management positions to help establish a single, unified approach to mental health at Slaughter and May.

Jaan Madan, Head of MHFA England’s Client Experience Team commented, “We are delighted to be supporting leading firms in the legal sector to implement programmes of Mental Health Frist Aid training. Ultimately, we want every organisation to have Mental Health First Aiders, in the same way they have physical first aiders. With the support of organisation like Slaughter and May, we hope to begin to make this a reality, so everyone has someone to turn to when they experience a mental health issue in the workplace.”

Read more about Slaughter and May’s approach here

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