A leading South West law firm has rolled out a free counselling service for all employees as part of its commitment to positive mental health.

Stephens Scown is part of the Mindful Employer initiative and signed the Charter for Employers who are Positive About Mental Health in 2017. Free counselling is its latest commitment to employee wellbeing. The news comes after the company was placed in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the fifth year in a row.

In its latest move towards creating a positive mental health environment, it is providing free employee counselling. An initial pilot was trialled in the firm’s Exeter office and was well-received so has now been expanded across Cornwall, offering employees a confidential and compassionate way to talk about any issues or difficulties they may be facing at work or in their personal lives.

The independent counselling service providers have decades of experience in counselling those who need it across both counties.

Maintaining and promoting positive mental health is increasingly becoming a top priority for employers. Following the success of the initial pilot, extending the service to employees was a natural progression as the Firm’s Managing Partner, Robert Camp, explains:

“The focus on mental health in the workplace is a priority for our Board and the counselling service complements our ongoing commitment to positive mental health and well-being. 

“Having an independent professional to discuss problems with has been very well-received. Like many other professions, the legal sector has pressures and our people are also helping clients who are often going through very difficult and distressing things. It can sometimes be hard to step away from that. We hope the counselling will be a useful support for colleagues who need a little extra help. But most importantly we want to break down the stigma around mental health and show that it is okay to receive help.”

Mindful Employer is a UK-wide initiative run by Workways, part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

Stephens Scown has 320 employees, including more than 50 partners, across its offices in Exeter, Truro and St Austell. It is the highest ranking law firm from the South West in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2018.