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We’re proud to announce that we’ve chosen MQ: Transforming mental health as our charity of the year for 2020.

MQ leads the way in undertaking research into mental health with the aim of creating a world where mental illness is understood, effectively treated, and ultimately prevented.

According to MQ, one in four people in the UK is living with a mental health condition.

That’s nearly 15 million people with an illness that affects their wellbeing, their relationships with family and friends, and their ability to work. For many, the experience can be painful, exhausting and isolating.

Despite extraordinary advances in treating physical health conditions, progress in understanding mental illness, and research into its causes, treatments and prevention, is nowhere near equal.

In fact, it falls woefully short, leaving millions of people worldwide without the help and support they need.

MQ seeks to change that. MQ is the leading charity funding much-needed scientific research to transform the lives of everyone affected by mental illness.

Over the past three years, the Junior Lawyers Division has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the importance of supporting wellbeing in the legal profession.

Our 2019 resilience and wellbeing survey (following on from surveys in 2017 and 2018) showed that 93.5% of respondents had experienced negative stress in the month before taking the survey, with almost one in four experiencing severe/extreme levels of stress.

Almost half of respondents had experienced a mental ill-health (whether formally diagnosed or not) in the month before taking the survey.

These statistics are concerning, and we’re doing everything in our power to encourage the profession to pay attention to ensuring better working conditions and practices for junior lawyers.

It was for this reason that we launched best practice guidance for employers on supporting wellbeing in the workplace in February 2018.

This guidance was revised and re-launched by the Law Society in October 2019.

Too many junior lawyers are experiencing the impact of poor mental health and, for this reason, we’re keen to support a charity that’s leading the way with research in this area.

We invite you to join us and support this great charity by keeping an eye out for activities you can get involved in.

At the JLD annual conference and ball on 25 April 2020, there’ll be a charity raffle to fundraise for MQ.

If you’d like to donate a raffle prize, contact juniorlawyers@lawsociety.org.uk.