Too often, individuals in the legal profession struggle privately with mental health concerns because of stigma, fear, and shame. The ABA recently launched a campaign to encourage lawyers, law students, and judges to get support.
Efforts to improve well-being in the legal profession has been growing in recent years following a 2016 study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine that confirmed individuals in the legal profession face increased risks for alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, and stress. The groundbreaking study sparked the formation of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, which issued a report on The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, outlining important steps that various stakeholders in the legal profession can take to improve well-being.
Challenging the stigma that keeps individuals trapped in fear of admitting they need help in a competitive profession, the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (COLAP) released a video campaign featuring lawyers, two law students, and a judge who share their stories about recovering from depression, anxiety, alcoholism and drug addiction — and the vital importance of asking for help.
Seeking help in the legal profession can feel uniquely challenging because it is the most isolating of all professions — but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Find more on how isolation impacts our well-being and how to identify support in this recent post on our blog by staff psychologist Shawn Healy.
Overcoming stigma, fear, and shame as an individual in the legal profession can feel easier if you approach it by taking distinct steps. Find more on how to start small, build a new community, own your story, make it normal, and reinterpret others’ responses in this recent post on our blog by staff psychologist Shawn Healy.