Q&As

Jarrad Parker on Mental Health Issues in the Workplace: Staff Management and HR

Tuesday May 8, 2018

If an issue arises in a workplace, Jarrad can (and often does) assist. 

Jarrad Parker

He advises clients in a wide range of industries on the full gamut of human resources and industrial relations issues including industrial strategy, employment contract and policy frameworks, enterprise bargaining, industrial disputes, discrimination, bullying, workplace health and safety and unfair dismissal claims. In addition, Jarrad is an experienced investigator and workplace trainer. He also facilitates executive level discussions and conferences, and mediates workplace disputes.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Jarrad recently to discuss key challenges and opportunities facing the industry today.

Read the Q&A below and hear more from Jarrad at the CPD Required Units: Balancing Wellbeing, Clients and Ethics seminar.

Can you tell us a bit about your practice and what your day to day work looks like?

My day to day is difficult to define as it is always changing! Providing advice, appearing in Court, delivering training and facilitating strategic discussions all make frequent appearances.

Your topic will cover ‘Mental Health Issues in the Workplace’ at our up and coming seminar – why is this such a significant issue in the workplace, particularly for lawyers? 

Being in the professional services industry, lawyers tend to take on their clients’ stressors in addition to their own. In a profession with little margin for error, trying to manage the emotional needs of clients and themselves can lead lawyers to make otherwise avoidable errors. 

What’s one mistake you see practitioners make when trying to manage mental health issues? 

Not asking for help. Some lawyers view mental health issues as weaknesses to be managed privately so as to avoid embarrassment. This stigma is changing - and it needs to change. By not asking for help, lawyers place themselves and their clients at risk.

What sorts of risks are practitioners subjecting themselves to by failing to manage mental health issues? 

There are a number of risks that can arise if a practitioner does not manage mental health issues appropriately. These range from the professional – claims of professional negligence, or violations of the Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules – to the very personal; a breakdown of personal relationships and damage to mental health.

What is one suggestion you would make to practitioners to help protect mental health/mental capital in practice?

Check-in with yourself regularly regarding your own mental health, and create and use an appropriate support network.  It’s far easier to manage an issue if it is detected before becoming a large problem.

You can hear more from Jarrad at the CPD Required Units: Balancing Wellbeing, Clients and Ethics seminar, being held on Wednesday 27 June at the Stamford Plaza Adelaide Hotel, Adelaide.

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