Nov 20

The holidays are an important time to review some helpful tips about avoiding pitfalls and setting yourself up for success. Starting with common celebrations of Thanksgiving, through religious holidays dominating December, and into New Year messages of improvement and positive change — the human brain has a lot to process.

Finding joy can be easy at some times in our lives and at other times, we really have to work for it. Understand that even with joyful associations, challenges may manifest and test your resilience. For many of us, this time of year brings with it social engagements with friends and family members that often include potentially risky, if not just uncomfortable, situations where your resolve is tested, whether to abstain from alcohol or even just negative thought patterns.

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Nov 16

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention recognizes the Saturday before Thanksgiving each year as International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. You can find support events organized across the country here.

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Oct 30

New research published in 2016 illuminated the need to improve Lawyer Well-Being, and the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being assembled in response, publishing The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change. The Task Force Report offered recommendations for all stakeholders in the profession, with specific action steps for Judges, Regulators, Legal Employers, Law Schools, Bar Associations, Liability Insurance Carriers, and Lawyers Assistance Programs (that’s us!). Forming a Well-Being Committee ranked among the Task Force’s most advised action steps for stakeholders as a group and individually — for the obvious reasons that collective awareness, attention, and action are more effective than we can expect to see from isolated efforts. Earlier this year, the ABA House of Delegates resolved to support well-being goals and to urge all stakeholders to consider the Report’s recommendations.

Observing the influence the Judiciary holds in our profession, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court confirmed its commitment to creating positive change by forming a Steering Committee on Lawyer Well-Being. The Committee “will explore ways to reduce stress on attorneys, help restore work-life balance, increase professional satisfaction and better support those who are confronting mental health and substance use disorders.” Members of the Commonwealth’s Steering Committee on Lawyer Well-Being were announced by Chief Justice Gants in his annual State of the Judiciary Address on October 24th. The steering committee is coordinated by Honorable Margot Botsford (ret.), who served as an associate justice on the SJC from 2007 to 2017.

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