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Herbert Smith has launched a training scheme to help its staff recognise the symptoms of stress and deal with mental illness.
The news comes after LawCare, a health advice line for the legal profession, reported that the recession has led to record numbers of lawyers suffering from stress and depression.
The Herbert Smith scheme, which was piloted earlier this year with partners and managers, is now being offered to all employees at the firm.
The firm’s global head of diversity and inclusion Carolyn Lee, who is spearheading the scheme, said: “Many corporations shy away from the topic of stress and mental illness because they don’t want to be seen as a stressful place to work, but we wanted to address the situation because we feel it’s important, especially given the past 10-15 months.”
Lee said the first wave of workshops, run by a professional psychotherapist, attracted more than 200 partners and managers. The second phase is expected to be run for all other members of staff from October this year to February 2010.
Head of real estate Ian Cox, who took part in a workshop earlier this year, said people have to start recognising that life in the City is often very highly charged and that stress plays a major factor in many people’s lives.