Herbies partner discusses her mental health issues on BBC
10 March 2017
A Herbert Smith Freehills
partner has spoken on the BBC about her mental health issues to help remove the stigma from mental health problems.
In 2016, said Herbies partner Sam Brown, she suffered a "professional breakdow
n" after feelings of fatigue and stress grew worse despite her efforts to overcome them. "It came to the point where I couldn't really concentrate
", said Brown. "I couldn't sleep properly and I started to be fearful about my work, that it wasn't going to finish, there was too much and I couldn't get a grip on it"
. Sam said she finally went "kicking and screaming
" to a psychiatrist and was signed off from work for three months. She returned, suffered a second breakdown and spent a further two weeks in hospital before she recovered. Appearing last week
on BBC Breakfast, Brown said going to a psychiatrist "was the best thing I ever did
||Brown, left, dropping some truth bombs
In an admirable effort to help break the taboo of mental health among its lawyers, two years ago Herbert Smith Freehills launched a mentoring scheme
. It has developed the programme to encompass talks given by Brown and fellow partner Chris Parsons to partners and juniors about their own struggles with mental health. Brown is now at the vanguard of a new initiative launched by the Institute of Directors looking at what businesses in the UK can do to support staff.
Transparency from the top sounds like an excellent approach to help other staff open up and reconsider their views on mental health. RollOnFriday tips its hat to Brown and Parsons, who have said they would be happy to address other partnerships. Interested firms should drop an email to HSF’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion David Shields at firstname.lastname@example.org