The Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program has created a one-hour video and educational program that seeks to educate the legal community about the signs that someone may be suffering from depression and vulnerable to suicide.
Lawyers can earn one hour of free ethics continuing legal education credit for watching the film Just Ask: How We Must Stop Minding Our Own Business in the Legal World. It can be viewed by selecting the “free CLE” tab texasbarcle.com. It can also be found along with other resources on TLAP’s website tlaphelps.org.
TLAP hopes the film helps legal professionals understand when they or their colleagues might be suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. The film includes personal stories from lawyers on how suicide and depression touched their lives and provides concrete ways to help colleagues or loved ones who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts.
Lawyers are consistently at or near the top of the list of all professionals in suicide rates. Research shows that lawyers are the most-often depressed professionals out of 105 professions, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among attorneys after cancer and heart disease.
“There is no issue more important to TLAP or the State Bar of Texas than preventing suicides among our colleagues in the legal profession,” TLAP Director Chris Ritter said. “We hope this program can help educate legal professionals about this critical issue.”
The film’s release is particularly timely as May 3-7 is Well-Being Week in Law, an event created by the Institute for Well-Being in Law and dedicated to the betterment of the legal profession by focusing on a holistic approach to well-being. The film and accompanying educational project was made possible by a $54,000 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation.
The Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, now in its 31st year, provides confidential help for lawyers, law students, and judges who have substance use and/or mental health concerns. Call or text 800-343-TLAP (8527) to get help.