Charity’s support was a ‘lifesaver’ for struggling solicitor
London solicitor Dan (not his real name) had been struggling with workload stress for a long time – but the Covid pandemic was the final straw. The 34-year-old residential property conveyancer had worked for the same legal firm for more than five years after qualifying, but when lockdown confined him to the isolation of his home, with increased demands to meet deadlines, he became overwhelmed and depressed.
In addition, he had also run up huge debts, which started when he was on a trainee solicitor’s salary and he was unable to make the repayments. Dan explains:
“When COVID hit, I completely lost my mind and turned to alcohol and drugs.
“It was just horrific; I couldn’t cope and eventually ‘disappeared’ at a friend’s house. I wasn’t sleeping for days on end and if my mum and sister hadn’t got me into residential rehab when they found me, I don’t think I would have survived.”
Dan received treatment from November 2020 to January 2021 and managed to come off the drugs, but was still dependent on alcohol to cope with his depression.
“The stress of being unable to pay my debts, along with relationship issues and being attacked in the street, led me to suicide attempts and I was then sectioned after a spell in hospital.”
Dan was at his lowest point in September this year – with no job and a family fallout which left him homeless. In desperation, he contacted The Solicitors’ Charity and was thrown a lifeline.
He told them:
“I was hoping you may be able to help. I have depression, PTSD and I am a drug and alcohol addict and the last couple of months have been some of the worst of my life.”
The charity helped him on the first steps to recovery. Temporary hotel accommodation was found that same day and Dan’s caseworker then helped him arrange to live in supported housing, with meals provided.
Dan was also given a financial award to help clear his debts, and a further award to help him with daily living costs until he gets back into employment. The caseworker has also discussed the services provided by the charity’s partners One Bright, LawCare and Renovo to help with mental wellbeing and therapeutic support and with career transition support.
Dan is keen to pursue these avenues in order to make a fresh start. He is also seeking counselling, has engaged with Alcoholics Anonymous and works closely with statutory services.
“The financial support and accommodation provided by The Solicitors’ Charity is really helping me get back on my feet.”
“The best thing now is being debt-free, having a roof over my head and a warm room. If the charity hadn’t been there for me, I don’t know what would have happened.”
“They’ve been massively helpful and a real lifesaver.”