As we near the end of May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, we encourage all to continue to educate themselves on mental health issues, start or maintain healthy practices, and seek help when needed.
Education, peer support, fostering a sense of community, and having employers and leadership willing to share their own stories of personal challenge reduce stigma surrounding these issues. In our work at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, we offer peer support to our clients. Nearly 300 lawyers, judges, and law students with lived experience facing mental health and/or substance use challenges serve as selfless volunteers that we call upon to support their colleagues.
There is nothing more impactful to a struggling lawyer than having someone who has faced the same issues in the same profession share how they acknowledged and overcame their challenges to restore their own health and well-being. When fellow lawyers are willing to speak up about their own personal experiences with these issues, it bashes stigma, fosters a culture of authenticity, helps others realize that they not alone in their journey, and improves the likelihood that colleagues will seek services and support when they need it.
Always remember that if you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness. There is hope. There is help. LCL offers free, comprehensive services and resources to lawyers and judges, their family members, and law students who are facing mental health and/or substance use challenges. We are 100% confidential. You can initiate or discontinue services at your discretion at any time. We offer a 24/7 Helpline you can utilize to speak with a compassionate staff member who can help. Call us at 1-888-999-1941. Check out lclpa.org for a wealth of resources, free CLEs, and other useful information.
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) is a confidential and safe resource for Pennsylvania attorneys and their family members who may be struggling with their mental health or substance use. Since 1988, LCL has confidentially assisted and supported thousands of individuals who have faced a myriad of challenges (including grief, stress, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, gambling problems, problematic alcohol or prescription drug use, etc.), helping them navigate through dark and difficult times. If you or someone you know is struggling, please call LCL’s 24/7 confidential hotline, call 1-888-999-1941. You may save a life. There is help, and there is hope.
This article is part of a month-long series exploring lawyer well-being as misconduct prevention. Topics include challenges to mental health, stress and burnout, preventative strategies, employer support, and seeking support through LCL.