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Gowling WLG Canada launches mental health initiative

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 @ 12:46 PM | By John Chunn


Gowling WLG Canada marked World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10 by announcing the launch of a mental health strategy aimed at improving the well-being of its personnel across the firm.

The “Our People First: Mental Health Strategy” outlines how Gowling WLG will develop and implement programs and policies that promote mental health and support team members who are dealing with mental health issues.

“Chronic stress, depression, anxiety and substance abuse are rampant within the legal industry — and far too many in law firms have dealt with these challenges by themselves,” said Peter Lukasiewicz, CEO of Gowling WLG Canada and the firm’s executive champion for the strategy.

“By executing our strategy, we will be improving our collective resilience and emotional well-being, and will be better equipped to support each other and face any mental health challenges that may arise,” he added.

With a strong emphasis on awareness, resilience and empowerment, the strategy is centred on training and education, the development of coping skills and fostering a culture of well-being in the workplace.

As part of its focus on resilience, the firm has increased the coverage for psychological benefits offered through its group insurance plan. In addition, the benefits now cover a wider range of mental health support counselling services.

“Ensuring that everyone has access to the psychological support they need is critical to the success of our strategy and, more importantly, to the well-being of our people,” explained Lukasiewicz.

Gowling WLG’s mental health strategy is another step forward in the firm’s ongoing commitment to mental health. Last year, it became one of the first Canadian law firms to offer mental health first aid training to its personnel. Through its diversity and inclusion strategy, the firm has also offered unconscious bias training for several years.