It’s really hard to know where to turn when you’re in the midst of an emotionally distressing event in your life. I know how isolated I felt when I was being bullied at work, and needed help with both my health and the legal situation. My first step was to seek help from my doctor for both physical and mental health issues. Eventually, like many people following their employer’s formal HR processes, I turned to professional help in the form of an Employment Law Solicitor.
I now use my experience to make a difference by working with businesses to educate their staff teams, as well as coaching people facing this situation, and through the long recovery period after the formal processes finish.
I more recently became aware that there are solicitors available who specialise in supporting people coping with stress at work. I took some time out and met with Jessica Thompson from Michael Lewin Solicitors in Leeds to find out more about this essential work. Jessica is the Head of Stress at Work, leading one of the only dedicated teams of solicitors working in this area. As a result, they work with people from across England and Wales, supporting them with stress at work claims which include bullying, sexual harassment, unfair treatment and assaults as well as excessive workload. To be more precise, they support people who have psychiatric injury claims:
“We strongly believe that nationally there is insufficient support or understanding for individuals suffering with psychiatric injury and we are therefore at the forefront of encouraging a change in perception towards mental ill health.”
We often shy away from using such direct language to explain the impact of bullying in the UK, although it’s widely recognised as such in the US. It’s refreshing to find it delivered with such clarity here. Talking with Jessica, it was clear that she truly cared about her clients, and wants to make a real difference in this area.
There’s a tremendous need for greater education around the impact of bullying, both within business, and even for those presiding over trials in this area. Bullying, and mental health issues overall, continue to be brought into the spotlight, both through high profile campaigns spearheaded by the royal family and Mental Health Awareness Week, and through individuals courageously willing to share their stories. It will take time to make a difference, but in the meantime, make sure you get the help that you deserve.
This is one of a series of articles by Nicki Eyre about the impact of bullying. Nicki Eyre is a Transformational Coach offering coaching programmes for businesses and individuals to increase self-awareness and emotional resilience. She supports people struggling to cope with bullying in the workplace, and to help them move on.