Lawyers experience mental health issues disproportionately high when compared to the national average. As has been well documented by the American Bar Association (ABA) and others, mental health issues such as depression, severe anxiety, substance use disorder, and suicidal thoughts sadly are not uncommon in the legal profession.
Fortunately, however, the legal community has also been fast to respond with initiatives like the ABA’s campaign to end mental health stigma and well-being pledge.
Member well-being has long been a priority at the WSBA, which provides a variety of services to help both WSBA members and law students, including consultations, mental health education, self-care, and more.
Recently, the WSBA Member Wellness Program grew a little larger with the addition of Clinical & Outreach Lead Adely Ruiz, MSW, LSWAIC. Ruiz comes to the WSBA via the Sound – Belltown community mental health facility, where she worked with a vulnerable low-income population. She provided cognitive behavioral therapy that included mental health diagnosis and treatment, guiding clients with harm-reduction techniques, treating substance use disorders, and providing direction on accessing medication management services.
Ruiz also worked with the nonprofit El Centro de la Raza, where she focused on community engagement and outreach. She received her master’s in social work from the University of Washington. Reach her directly at email@example.com or 206-727-8268.
What attracted you to working with lawyers?
Previously, I worked with low-income vulnerable communities that often worked with attorneys. I recognized the stressors that could occur as a result, and it encouraged me to want to serve on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Tell us about your clinical background.
I attended the University of Washington School of Social Work, where I focused on a clinical concentration and completed a behavioral health fellowship.
What is your connection to Washington?
I am a Washington native; I grew up in the Eastern Washington area. I resided in the TriCities and Connell.
What are some of the changes coming through at the MWP?
We are starting a stress management group, “Three S’s: Stress, Self-care, and Sanity,” which is free to our WSBA members. The group is meant to give members their own specialized routine tailored to address their daily needs.
What are your other passions outside of your professional role?
I am a self-taught nail clinician who loves to not only do my own nails, but invite others into my space so that I can do theirs and help them feel confident in their own skin.