b'PEOPLE| LEGAL SECTOR| 2020SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHTPSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING Arguably, this year has seen more change and uncertainty for individuals and businesses than any time in this generation. It will take time to understand the immediate and longer-term impacts on psychological, physical, emotional and financial wellbeing.While no one anticipated the disruption experienced in 2020, many law firms were at least partially prepared to support their peoples resilience and ongoing psychological wellbeing though their improved management of mental health issues. Existing programs in law firms have been built over many years through the dedication of many champions within the profession and the establishment of programs such as Minds Count and Resilience@Law. These programs have been built to address the levels and types of work-related stress that pre-dated COVID. COVID has then resulted in additional or amplified pressures caused by sudden and dramatic changes to working arrangements and peoples personal lives, such as managing isolation, family demands, financial worries, relationship problems, health issues or safety and security. The sudden and continuing period of working from home has also made it more difficult for firms to both monitor the mental health of their employees and partners and provide support.The legal profession is famed for a culture of stoicism and perfection in the face of the work pressure and long workdays required to meet the high expectations of employers and clients. Sustaining these standards while juggling working from home and other COVID pressures has led to many lawyers being exposed to illness when their tolerance to stress is exhausted. When people are continually pressed beyond this threshold, without the opportunity to properly recover, lasting health and performance impacts can result. Studies have shown that half of law students, one third of lawyers and one fifth of barristers suffer a level of disability or distress due to depression.The Mental Health First Aid Manual estimates that sixty percent of depression is undiagnosed and untreated and that mental ill health is the third most common source of disease burden after cancers and heart disease and is the major cause of disability in Australia. Julia Gilliard recently addressed the Committee for Economic Development of Australia stating that eight million working days are lost annually in Australia through untreated depression. Estimates put the cost of lost productivity from absenteeism at 4 per cent of GDP or about $10,000 per year for each employee with untreated depression. In 2016 Gallup found that the cost of presenteeism through ambivalence or disengagement from work is ten times higher affecting around seventy percent of the Australian workforce.In Australia there are two key organisations supporting lawyers, law students, firms, corporations and Government to better manage the mental health risks that are apparent in legal work environments and practices. Minds Count (previously named the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation) is an independent charitable organisation with an objective to decrease work related psychological ill-health. It promotes psychological health and safety in the legal community through creating awareness and supporting initiatives that aim to decrease the distress, disability and causes of depression and anxiety in the legal profession. The Foundation released the Workplace Wellbeing: Best Practice Guidelines to which more than 220 legal workplaces in Australia and overseas have become signatories. Minds Count hosts an annual lecture with an eminent keynote speaker and other regular briefings and events aimed at supporting the legal community. The initiatives of Minds Count have been effective in increasing awareness and the level of conversations, as well as the development of tools to better understand and manage mental wellbeing issues.FORMAL POLICY PUBLISHED POLICYPOLICYPUBLISHEDYes 94% No 3% Yes 35% No 61%Not Reported 3% Not Reported 3%32'