On the eve of World Mental Health Day, the State Bar of Texas released a video on Wednesday highlighting the importance of lawyers seeking help for anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and other mental health issues.
“We are here to send a strong message to our legal community that it’s time that we recognize one thing: It’s good to get help,” Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann says in the video.
The four-minute video, “It’s Good to Get Help,” was produced by TexasBarCLE and the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, which provides confidential help for Texas lawyers, judges, and law students struggling with mental health or substance use issues.
The video features a variety of leaders in the Texas legal profession, including representatives of the Supreme Court, the State Bar, the Board of Law Examiners, and Texas law schools. Their comments are interspersed with personal stories from attorneys who say they benefited from getting help for issues ranging from grief and burnout to drug and alcohol use disorders.
Approximately 46% of attorneys deal with depression at some point in their practice, and 28% currently struggle with depression, according to statistics in the video.
In addition to the video, the State Bar is offering a webcast on “What Lawyers Need to Know about Depression and Suicide.” The training covers mental health issues that lead to suicide (the third leading cause of death among attorneys), how to recognize warning signs, and how to intervene when a person is at risk. The webcast is available for free in the TexasBarCLE Online Classroom, where attendees can obtain 0.5 hours of MCLE ethics credit. More than 2,200 attorneys have already registered to take the course.
Call the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program at 800-343-8527(TLAP) to get help for yourself or a colleague, and go to tlaphelps.org to learn more about the program.