Mental health awareness week: an intersectional lens

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, we asked three speakers about the relationship between, and impact of, their intersectional identities and their mental health

Talking openly about mental health is difficult but the more we speak about our experiences, the more we can help break the stigma and normalise that challenges with mental health are almost universally experienced. Our speakers’ individual and unique mental health journeys highlight the great benefits that come with understanding that we are not alone in our battles to cope and overcome.

There are a huge number of variables that can impact your mental health, both positively and negatively. Mental health challenges are as diverse as the people that experience them. We should acknowledge these differences and work together as a profession to offer personalised support and build a better understanding of this incredibly intricate and nuanced issue.

Our speakers share their own personal stories with their mental health as well as their thoughts on how the legal profession could promote positive mental health for people with multiple characteristics.

Speakers:

Rhian Smith (she/her)

Rhian is a medical negligence solicitor at JCP Solicitors and the Disability Subcommittee chair at Cardiff Law Society.

Rhian is very passionate about improving disability inclusion within professional services and speaks openly about her own experience as a lawyer with a hidden disability. She established the first diversity and inclusion (D&I) subcommittee within a local law society that is dedicated to improving disability inclusion, and is committed to raising awareness of the ways in which businesses can make their workplaces more inclusive.

Luke Williams (he/him)

Luke is a trans non-practising solicitor who trained at a London firm specialising in property law and private client work.

He was admitted as a solicitor in 2016 and now works in legal education. Luke joined the LGBT+ Lawyers Division Committee in November 2019 and is currently the vice-chair.

Ruihua Wang (she/her)

Ruihua is a senior in-house lawyer at Tradeweb Europe Limited, a member of our Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division Committee and vice-chair of the UK Society of Chinese Lawyers.

Born and bred in Shanghai, China, Ruihua underwent a remarkable transition from a Chinese lawyer to an English solicitor at the age of 30.

Having trained at a top law firm, Linklaters, she understood the challenges in admission and career progression faced by ethnic minority law students/lawyers and aims to help others in similar situations.

Listen to the podcast:

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