Today, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day—a day which seeks to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues within our society. As a law firm, mental health issues are increasingly important, as study-after-study has shown that the mental health crises plagues attorneys at incredibly high levels. A study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine shows that at least one out of four attorneys report some form of depression, anxiety, or stress.
In an effort to further the dialogue around mental health issues within our society, many legal bar associations across the country have developed programming to help those who may be suffering from mental health issues. At the national level, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division started their #Fit2Practice initiative. This initiative seeks to improve attorney health and wellness through education, programming, and open dialogue. The most recognizable component of this initiative is the inclusion of physical, out-door activities at all of their conferences. This has ranged from yoga on the beach, to touring the host city. These programs promote wellness as well as provide a catalyst for open dialogue to occur.
On a state level, the State Bar of Texas also has resources available to help those who may be suffering from mental health issues. The Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program is an organization which provides 100% confidential resources and programming to bring awareness and help those of us with mental health concerns.
As the demands in our personal and professional lives increase, it is important to be honest and open about our mental health status. In doing so, we are actually able to encourage people to reach out and get the help they need in order to live well. Together we can change the way the world sees mental health and we can #EndTheStigma.
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