Since 1949, May has been observed as Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. For the legal profession, mental health has become an increasingly important topic. A report released in 2016 by the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation brought to light some staggering statistics: lawyers are three times more likely to suffer from depression than other professions, lawyers are two times more likely to die by suicide, and 11 percent of attorneys contemplate suicide monthly, to name a few.
Two articles on mental health, which were originally published in the Dallas Bar Association’s May edition of Headnotes, can be found here and focus on the stigma associated with mental health issues and how lawyers need to realize that they can ask for help or help a colleague or friend. If you know a lawyer, judge, or law student suffering from mental health issues or substance abuse, please contact the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, which can provide confidential assistance 24/7, at 1-800-343-8527 (TLAP). More information is available at tlaphelps.org.