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Suicide Prevention Awareness In The Legal Profession

Suicide Prevention Awareness in the Legal Profession

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used in place of professional advice, treatment, or care in any way. Lawyers, law students, judges, and other legal professionals in Massachusetts can find more on scheduling a Free & Confidential appointment with a licensed clinician here.

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

 

SUICIDE PREVENTION

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: lmcmahon@nysba.org.

To prevent suicide, the Samaritans offer 24/7 crisis services at 877 870 4673. They also operate the local National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 800 273 8255. From the Samaritans,

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.

We can help try to prevent suicide by understanding How to Help and becoming familiar with Warning Signs + Risk Factors. Additional resources include:

 

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.

 

RELATED 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.

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