September 10th is Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day, as National Suicide Prevention Week and National Suicide Prevention Month continue.
A few years back, CNN posed a difficult and problematically-worded question with the headline “Why are lawyers killing themselves?” Appropriate language would ask why lawyers are dying by suicide, which “removes culpability from the person who lost their life and allows for a discussion about the disease or disorder they were suffering from.” (NBC News on Why Mental Health Advocates Use the Words ‘Died by Suicide’ — and apparently CNN knows better too, but lacks coordination.) There have been startling trends in the legal profession — highlighted by Foster Web Marketing in this way:
- Fifteen attorney suicides since 2010 in Kentucky
- Six attorney suicides in 18 months in South Carolina
- One suicide a month for an entire year in Oklahoma
September 17th at 1pm EST: Depression and Suicide Prevention in the Legal Profession with Dan Lukasik, founder of Lawyerwithdepression.com, which will be hosted by the NYSBA LAP and Nassau County LAP. Dan will discuss his life experiences with depression, as well as share strategies to utilize if someone you know expresses suicidal thoughts. The session is free but you’ll need to register with Linda McMahon, the LAP Assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A recent study from the Center for Disease Control shows that the impact of the coronavirus on young people (ages 18-24) has been severe: 25% of those surveyed seriously considered suicide in the last 30 days.
The demand for our services has skyrocketed with this increased desperation. In fact, we saw an 86% increase in demand for our text service on our 24/7 Helpline from March to June of this year.
- 5 Steps to Help from Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Suicide Prevention Webinars from the Samaritans: Regularly scheduled webinars held on Tuesdays at 2pm EST throughout the remainder of 2020. The link to join is available here.
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- Trevor Project: Crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth.
- Zero Suicide: Quality improvement initiative for suicide prevention in health and behavioral care.
- How to Foster a Healthy Workforce with Suicide on the Rise (Forbes)
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of additional resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.
Attorney Suicide: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know (ABA Journal, 2019)
Why we need to talk about suicide (Mark Henick, 2013 TEDxToronto)
Free & Confidential Consultations:
Lawyers, law students, and judges in Massachusetts can discuss concerns with a licensed therapist, law practice advisor, or both. Find more on scheduling here.