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Mental Health Awareness Week: Supporting claimants and each other

Experiencing mental health difficulties is distressing, and many people often struggle to get the help that they need. 

Research tells us that, currently, every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. At the same time, more than two million people are waiting for NHS mental health services.

What help is there?

As a specialist serious injury solicitor representing individuals and their families affected by devastating and life-changing injuries, I often see the impact on our clients’ mental health. It's vital that this is recognised so that help and support can be put in place. 

Supporting those affected, Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 13 to 19 May to “raise awareness and vital funds for a future where everyone can get quality mental health care when they need it.”

Most of our clients have been through some sort of traumatic life event, and that can understandably impact their mental health leading to anxiety, difficulties regulating mood, feeling withdrawn, sleep issues and shock. 

Although the figures vary, one estimate suggests that 50 to 70% of people will experience a trauma at some point in their lives, and around 20% of people who experience a trauma may go on to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in response, which equates to around 10% of the population, which is arguably quite a shocking statistic. 

As well as PTSD, in my role I often represent claimants with various other mental health difficulties including anxiety, depression and adjustment disorder. 

It's vital to ensure that they're supported with specialist, bespoke care and treatment which may include talking therapies, eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), arts and creative therapies, medication or a combination of several, in order to ensure that they achieve the best outcome possible.

Looking after ourselves and each other 

At Irwin Mitchell, we recognise that our colleagues can sometimes need support too. 

The very nature of our work means that we deal with upsetting and distressing material, and we work in a professional environment where there are often high stakes and tight deadlines, and litigation can be intense at times. We do this job because we care about our clients and ensuring they receive a fair and just outcome that protects their future, but that can come with its own challenges that must be recognised and managed. 

It's important to be able to have open conversations about this topic; many still feel there's often a stigma and this discourages people from feeling able to talk. At Irwin Mitchell, we have a strong focus on the wellbeing of our colleagues, and they have access to numerous resources to help them navigate difficult times.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell’s expertise in supporting people and families affected by serious injury at the dedicated section on our website.