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. The Samaritans offer local support for survivors of suicide loss…
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.
Has anyone ever told you that? No? Well, let me be the first. It’s important to remember that you are not a pot roast. Now you might be thinking, “I’ve never been confused about being a pot roast. So why are you telling me this?” That’s a fair question. Allow me to explain.
October 10th is Law School Mental Health Day! (And World Mental Health Day!)
Law school is not just another educational experience, not just a step toward a career that begins after graduation and admission to the bar. Your professional career begins now, in law school. What appear to be easy choices down the road are often deceptive. Unsustainable work patterns only get progressively more difficult to disrupt. Law School is your best chance to build the foundation of a career you really want.
Stress is definitely part of the experience, and isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Stress, in moderate amounts or when adequately managed, can provide motivation and drive. But sometimes it’s difficult to figure out how to keep it under control. Sometimes people need help developing new thought patterns that can address stress better. (See #9)
REVIEW OF FINDINGS:
LCL SURVEY ON DEPRESSION IN LAWYERS, 2018
With the recent publication of our ABA book, The Full Weight of the Law: How Legal Professionals Can Recognize and Rebound from Depression, co-author Shawn Healy and I were invited to make a presentation on depression in lawyers at the 2018 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs in September 2018.
Self-Care Awareness Month Trivia Question! What do a lot of lawyers have in common with billionaire innovators Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos?
Their work is impressive, but their priorities are questionable. In similar and different ways. Elon Musk is sleep-deprived and friends are concerned. Jeff Bezos sleeps enough, but he’s making headlines for poor working conditions in his Amazon warehouses. They both seem pretty smart and might prevail against any odds — but in the meantime, we can learn from the mistakes they’re making on their paths to full scale market disruption and domination.
Our thoughts are with all those affected by the gas leaks and emergency evacuations in Merrimack Valley. Due to these events, the North Andover Support Group Meeting for Lawyers in Recovery scheduled for Sept. 14 has been postponed until the…
Are you about to start law school? Congratulations . . . You have probably heard at least a few horror stories about the stress, the dropout rate, the prevalence of depression, the high student loans, the competition, the high rates of substance use, and how law school is either like military boot camp, the Hunger Games, or the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog. Challenges shape us, and law school is a life changing experience. Needless to say, it is best to have some helpful strategies at the ready, even before it seems they are necessary.
We all feel fluctuations in our moods (from elation to deep sadness). Some people feel this range of emotions to a lesser degree (find it hard to feel intense emotions) while others feel it to a greater degree (find it hard not to feel intense emotions). A common question we get is, “How can you tell the difference between a low mood and something more serious like depression?”.