Why we need to talk about Lawyers' Mental Health
Help is available
Coping with COVID-19
COVID-19 has amplified stress and anxiety about finances, job security, providing and caring for family, and the health of loved ones.
Florida Lawyers Helpline
The Florida Bar mental health helpline (1-833-FL1-WELL) is a free and confidential service that connects members with professional counselors. Calls are always free. You may be referred for up to three free telehealth counseling sessions per year to help you develop strategies to overcome life’s challenges, balance priorities, and better handle both personal and professional pressures. Please note: The helpline is for Florida Bar members and is not a referral service to find a lawyer or make a complaint against a lawyer.
Tenga en cuenta: Este número es sólo para miembros del Colegio de Abogados de la Florida (The Florida Bar). No es servició de referencia para asesoría legal ni es donde se presenta una queja en contra de un abogado.
Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc.
FLA provides programs and services to assist attorneys, judges, law students, and other legal professionals who may be impaired in their ability to function in a legal setting. The backbone of FLA is a support network of recovering attorneys and judges who wish to carry the message to fellow members of their profession that recovery is possible. FLA also offers help to those suffering from depression and other mental illnesses.
eVideo Counselor provides online face-to-face video counseling with licensed mental health therapists. Florida Bar members and their families save more than 20% per session.
Mental Health and Wellness Organizations
This comprehensive listing of state, national and online mental health and wellness resources was compiled by Attorney Mental Health Education, Inc.
Broward County-Fort Lauderdale-24 Hour Suicide/Mental Health Hotline
Dade County-Switchboard of Miami – 24 Hour Crisis/Suicide Prevention
Florida Lawyers Helpline
Miami Dade Homeless Trust
Miami Rescue Women
South Florida Behavioral Health Network
South Florida Behavioral Health Network-Miami Dade & Monroe County Mental Health & Drug Treatment
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
Debtors Anonymous (DA)
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Helpline For Judges Helping Judges
National Hopeline Network
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24/7
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741
Continuing Legal Education Videos
The Florida Bar produces free health and wellness webinars and videos, many of which are eligible for continuing legal education credit. Here is just a sampling of what’s available.
LegalFuel: The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar
Young Lawyers Division Health & Wellness Video Series
The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division launched the #StigmaFreeYLD campaign to help end the stigma over mental health and illness in our profession. The campaign website includes the stories of attorneys who have struggled with mental illness but have gone on to build successful practices and find joy in their lives by taking action to seek help.
By opening up the discussion, we can break the stigma over mental illness in our profession, lift each other up, and help more lawyers find fulfillment in their practice.
The Florida Bar Podcast
Podcast from The Legal Talk Network
Well-being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers
Developed by Anne Brafford for the American Bar Association.
Meditations & Self-Assessment
Wellness Wednesday: Weekly inspiration and tips.
Recordings by Jon Kabat-Zinn: Are available for purchase and you can download directly to your computer.
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center: Scripts vary from five to 19 minutes (free for download and also available in Spanish).
Dartmouth: Audio recording of a 10-minute relaxation & mindfulness practice (free for download).
What Makes Lawyers Happy? (Personal Assessment)
These can be used for member or book club discussions:
Mental Health and Wellness: Destigmatizing the Discussion and Promoting Solutions, January 2018 Florida Bar Journal (articles by various authors)
Lost Found & Rewired: Mind Tools to Shift you from Stressed and Frazzled to Calm and Vital by Cynthia Dougherty, Ph.D.
50 Lessons for Lawyers: Earn More. Stress Less. Be Awesome by Nora Riva Bergman
Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence by Ronda Muir
The Healing Power of Breath: Simple Techniques to Reduce Stress and Anxiety. Enhance Concentration. and Balance Your Emotions by Richard P. Brown MD and Patricia L. Gerbarg, M.D.
Feeling the Heat: An Interrogation of the Soul by John B. Contini
Girl Walks Out of a Bar: A Memoir by Lisa Smith
The Anxious Lawyer by Jeena Cho
Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Wherever You Go. There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
State and National Articles
Jacksonville Daily Record, Mental health: It’s time to be honest about it, March 5, 2020
NYTimes: Yale’s Most Popular Class Ever: Happiness, Jan. 28, 2018
Above The Law: Staying Well In Law School, Aug. 9, 2017
NYTimes: Lawyer, The Addict, July 15, 2017
CNN: Why are Lawyers Killing Themselves, Jan. 20, 2014
Mental Health & Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee
The Mental Health & Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee was established to implement the 2018-19 Florida Bar Strategic Planning Priority, which focuses on the mental health and wellness of Florida lawyers, and to continue the work started by the Special Committee on Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers.
The Young Lawyers Division Health and Wellness Committee is committed to improving lawyers’ lives by improving their well-being. Learn more about the committee and its #StigmaFreeYLD campaign.
Why are lawyers killing themselves? CNN, Jan. 20, 2014