Did you know that the suicide rate of lawyers is double that of the general population? It’s true! Mental illness impacts millions of Americans per year. However, those who work in the field of law are more likely to experience different forms of mental illnesses. For example, lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer severe depression. In the National Task Force 72-page report, “The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change,” multiple suggestions and recommendations are provided for those in law that emphasize confidence and the importance of well-being with the ultimate goal of educating the public about mental illness. The report shines a light on the widespread impact of mental illness and strives to remove the negative stigma associated with asking for help to overcome mental illness. Unlike other reports, it not only provides recommendations for lawyers, it also tailors recommendations to other professions associated with law as well. For example, there are sections that specifically provide recommendations for judges, bar associations, law schools, lawyer assistance programs and more. Because stress and chronic depression can lead to substance abuse, it is important that individuals in the law profession focus on their personal well-being.
At Lauren Richardson Law, PLLC, we believe that if a lawyer wants to be successful, he/she must focus on being mentally healthy. The facts and statistics provided in the report have influenced those at Lauren Richardson Law, PLLC, to help spread mental health awareness in the law community. It is important to us that those in the field of law stick together and remove the stigma associated with seeking help when it comes to mental illness.
In the article, “Ten Tips for Lawyers Dealing with Stress, Mental Health, and Substance Use Issues,” Staff Attorney to the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, Chris Ritter, prepares ten tips that we at Lauren Richardson Law, PLLC, see as important and extremely helpful.
Take action and don’t be afraid to seek professional assistance
Set personal and professional boundaries
Connect with others who can relate to what you’re going through
Learn to relax
Practice positive thinking
Live in the present
Expand your personal sense of spirituality and consciousness
Keep it real and be honest with yourself
Pudlow, Jan. “Report: Lawyers’ well-being falls short.” The Florida Bar News. vol. 44, no. 17, 1 Sept. 2017