Recent news headlines have focused on lawyers being at high risk for suffering from depression and becoming victims of suicide.
The State Bar of Michigan offers help and support for those suffering from depression and other mental health and substance abuse disorders in the form of the SBM Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program — LJAP for short. LJAP provides free, confidential telephone and in-person consultations for lawyers and judges and their families with licensed and certified mental health and addiction professionals. LJAP also offers educational seminars and consultation services for law firms.
SBM LJAP Administrator Tish Vincent, an attorney and a licensed clinical social worker, also writes a monthly column in the Michigan Bar Journal called Practicing Wellness. The column has talked about seasonal affective disorder, suicide prevention and stress management.
Her most recent column discusses post-traumatic stress disorder among attorneys:
Over time in a busy practice, legal professionals can suffer the same symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder experienced by their clients. In the therapy world, we call this vicarious traumatization. It is understood that professionals who work with people needing their help begin to experience the same emotions and even some of the same symptoms as their clients. Judges are particularly susceptible to vicarious traumatization because they are exposed to many more cases than attorneys.
If you or a lawyer you know needs help coping with a mental health or substance abuse problem, please don't hesitate to reach out to LJAP today at (800) 996-5522.
Posted by Samantha Meinke