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LawCare runs a peer supporters programme offering one-to-one support. We have around 80 peer supporters, all volunteers who have first-hand experience of working in the law and may have been through difficult times themselves. They offer support, encouragement and mentoring on a range of different issues such as alcohol addiction, stress and anxiety.
LawCare provides a peer support programme for the legal community in the UK.
Peer support is when people use their own experiences to help others. Getting emotional support from people who have similar lived experiences to you can improve wellbeing, increase self esteem and confidence, provide hope that you can move on from a difficult situation and help you manage it better. Our peer supporters, all have first hand experience of legal education, training and practice and lived experience of a difficult time in their personal or professional life such as mental health problems, addiction or work related issues such as facing disciplinary investigations, bullying, difficult relationships with colleagues or managing a heavy workload.
The most common issues our peer supporters can help with are :
Relationship problems at work
Returning to work after illness or a career break
Worrying if law is the right career for you
Facing disciplinary proceedings either by your regulator or employer
Many people find peer support helps them, but it is not for everyone. If you are already receiving professional psychiatric or therapeutic care then peer support may not be appropriate. Before considering making an application, think about the following:
Am I comfortable talking about my experiences to new people? Talking about your experiences can make you feel more aware of your thoughts and emotions.
Am I comfortable hearing about someone else’s experiences? Listening to someone else’s experiences can help you feel less alone and introduce you to new ways of coping but it may also be unhelpful.
Am I well enough? If you are in an acute crisis, peer support may not be right for you at the moment.
Is it the right time? Is peer support what you need at the moment?
Our trained peer supporters offer help and emotional support from their lived experience. You may find it easier to talk to an understanding peer who has experienced what you are going through. Our peer supporters are not counsellors and they can’t provide you with solutions to your problems but they have been specifically selected and trained in listening skills and are empathetic and non judgemental. Peer supporters are not able to give legal or practice advice.
Our peer supporters reflect the diversity of the legal profession across the UK and Ireland. They are drawn from all branches of the legal profession and career stages. They are from different age groups, genders and ethnic groups.
Our peer supporters provide one to one emotional support by telephone. Usually peer supporters provide support over two to three phone calls, but it can be less or more than this, it just depends on what you need.
Anything you discuss with your peer supporter is confidential, we will only break your confidentiality if we are concerned that you are at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others or we are required by law to do so. LawCare's confidentiality policy is here
We keep our peer supporters' details confidential too so your peer supporter will only give you their phone number if they feel comfortable doing so. We discourage peer supporters from meeting those they are helping except in certain exceptional circumstances, e.g. attending an AA meeting, and prefer that it is discussed with LawCare in advance. Peer supporters can't give legal or professional advice or provide a character witness, and the programme is not intended to be a befriending service.
If you feel a peer supporter could help you, please complete the application form. One of our team will then be in touch by telephone to discuss your needs and see if we can match you with an appropriate peer supporter. We will usually email first to arrange a suitable time to talk; if you have not heard from us within 48 hours please check your junk or spam folder.
It may take up to one month to allocate a peer supporter. We can’t guarantee that we will be able to offer you a peer supporter as this does depend on your circumstances and their availability, but we try our best. If we are unable to allocate a peer supporter, you are of course able to call our helpline for emotional support. Our helpline 0800 279 6888 is open Monday to Friday 0900-1730. Find out more about our helpline here
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