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Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health Awareness, Mental Health Awarness Month, Mental Health, Mental Health Law

Mental Health Awareness Month

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and as the pandemic continues, it has been more important now more than ever to think about mental health within your home life, and your work, and coming up with a balancing act. All kinds of professions can disrupt this crucial balance, but the legal profession has cemented a culture that values long work hours, and productivity over everything else.

If you are a legal professional, chances are that you may need to take a closer look at your mental health. According to two studies published in 2016:

  • 25 percent of lawyers suffer from depression.
  • 19 percent of lawyers had severe anxiety.
  • 11.4 percent of lawyers had suicidal thoughts in the previous year.

These numbers are staggering and highlight just how important mental health awareness is needed for legal professionals.

One place to start, if you or someone you know in the legal industry is struggling is the Lawyers’ Assistance Programs or LAPs. These programs provide support and services for lawyers, paralegals, judges, paraprofessionals/legal assistants, law students, and their friends/ families/loved ones. LAPs are confidential and are available in every state. Contact your local program to get started with help.

The Importance of Mental Health Awareness In and Beyond Law

Some people may be a little confused on why mental health needs awareness. Here are a few reasons why even a month of mental health awareness may not be enough:

  • The Existing Social Stigmas that Come with Mental Health—For people to feel comfortable to even seek help, they need to acknowledge that they are struggling. However, because of the various social stigmas associated with mental illness, many continue to struggle. By bringing awareness to the numbers, individuals, and stories of those with similar struggles can help remove those stigmas, and ultimately may save lives!
  • The Lack of Understanding— many mental illnesses are invisible, making them easy to ignore. However, just like a physical illness, a mental one can mean chronic ups and downs. With more awareness of these struggles, people who do not suffer can get a better understanding of the seriousness and impacts of these invisible ailments.
  • The American Work Environment— by bringing awareness to mental health, workplaces can be held accountable for the environments that they create. They can learn ways to improve and adjust to help their employees. Wellness within the workplace has become such a crucial part of success, productivity, and work-life balance. And now more than ever, it is significant to the wellbeing of individuals.

Resources for Mental Health

If you or someone you know are struggling, below are some resources that may be able to help, regardless of your profession:

Federal Organizations  

The National Institute of Mental Health—a part of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, they research mental illness and can help with education on mental illness.

  • Health Resources and Services Administrators (HRSA): HRSA can help people connect to healthcare, including mental health care. It can be a great resource for those looking to connect with a mental health professional but don’t have health insurance or aren’t sure where to start.
Mental Health Awareness, Mental Health Awareness Month, Mental Health in Law

Non-Profits/Agencies/Organizations

Below are some non-profits that may be able to help you:

State and Local Resources

Your local social services agency/ department can help you connect with local help and community programs. Find your local social service agency here.

At the Mass Tort Institute (MTI) we developed a free mini course on mental wellness for those working in the legal industry. Get started with our Well-Being in Law mini course by registering.

Written by Nooreen Baig 

About the Author

Nooreen Baig is the Marketing Strategist at The Mass Tort Institute. She is passionate about creativity in all aspects of marketing and beyond. Her background in American Literature and content creation means she can also contribute to MTI’s various content heavy channels. 

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