Over the past five years, there has been a steady and growing change in how we as a profession address the mental health of attorneys. And over the next five days, the WSBA is joining other organizations around the nation in a rallying cry to further end stigma, support one another, and promote changes leading toward a healthier profession and, in doing so, better representation for clients.
From May 3 to 7, the WSBA is joining other bars, firms, and organizations in recognizing Well-Being Week in Law.
In 2016, there was newly focused attention on the disproportionate rates of mental health and substance use issues among attorneys with the publication of “The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys” in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. Awareness has continued to grow, as have calls throughout the legal community to build more resources for support and awareness around mental health and substance use disorders. Because in doing so, we can not only help one another, but will be better able to make good choices that allow us to thrive and be our best for our clients, colleagues, and organizations.
“Being a lawyer involves unique pressures,” said WSBA Member Wellness Program Manager Dan Crystal. “There is a lot at stake with one’s clients and it usually has an urgency that can bulldoze the rest of one’s life. Making sure to take care of your own mental and physical well-being is the first step to thriving in your career.”
Throughout the week, the WSBA will focus on different aspects of well-being and highlight the many resources available to help attorneys and firms create positive changes both inside and outside of the workplace. Find out more about what’s planned for the week by checking the WSBA Well-Being Week in Law and Institute for Well-Being in Law pages.
In addition to on-demand CLEs (Self-Care, Burnout and Trauma: Advocating For Your Clients and Yourself and Suicide Awareness and the Legal Profession), be sure not to miss Bar Complaints and Wellness: Forewarned is Forearmed on May 5, which will go over the possible connection between levels of wellness and bar complaints, so that attendees may avoid unnecessary risk of complaint.
You can also find other resources the WSBA makes available to members via the Member Wellness Program, such as free consultation, counseling, and peer advising. And read other recent WSBA articles including “The WSBA’s Commitment to Wellness,” as well as pieces by WSBA presidents past and present: “Building Bridges and Best-Laid Plans” and “WSBA President Majumdar Discusses His Mental Health Journey and Stigma.”