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Mental Health and Wellness Center
The Bar’s Mental Health & Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee is working to destigmatize mental illness, recommend best practices and remedies, and help bring more balance into members’ daily professional lives.

Why we need to talk about Lawyers' Mental Health

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Florida Lawyers Helpline
Please note: this number 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.

The Helpline also includes a Work/Life Program for assistance with such issues as childcare, elder care and finances. Callers receive advice, referrals and materials customized to take into account their individual concerns, financial and geographic needs.

Here you’ll find CLE videos, podcasts, meditations and self assessments, studies and news articles, suggested reading — and places to find help if you need it.

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.

Learn More

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.

Learn more

eVideo Counselor

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.

Activate Member Benefit

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.

Florida

Broward County-Fort Lauderdale-24 Hour Suicide/Mental Health Hotline
954-537-0211

Dade County-Switchboard of Miami – 24 Hour Crisis/Suicide Prevention
305-358-HELP (4357)

Florida Lawyers Helpline
833-FL1-WELL

Mental Health Resource Center

Miami Dade Homeless Trust
305-375-CARE (2273)

Miami Rescue Women
305-571-2250

National Alliance on Mental Illness of Florida

South Florida Behavioral Health Network

South Florida Behavioral Health Network-Miami Dade & Monroe County Mental Health & Drug Treatment
305-858-3335

National

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
212-870-3400

Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
310-559-5833

Debtors Anonymous (DA)
800-421-2383

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
818-773-9999

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233

National Helpline For Judges Helping Judges
1-800-219-6474

National Hopeline Network
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24/7

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for Deaf & Hard of Hearing
1-800-799-4889

United Way 211

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

#StigmaFreeYLD Campaign

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

New!

Substance Use and Mental Health Toolkit for Law School Students and Those Who Care About Them

This toolkit is a collaborative effort of the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division and the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs. It was created by hundreds of individuals around the country to provide pre-law advisors, law school administrators, counseling personnel, faculty, students, student leaders, and lawyer assistance programs with a user-friendly resource to deal with mental health and substance use within your respective schools.

Download the Toolkit

Mental Health Well-Being Tool Kit for law Students

Well-being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers

ABA Wellbeing Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers

Developed by Anne Brafford for the American Bar Association.

Download the Well-Being Toolkit

80 Tips for Lawyer Thriving

ABA Well-Being Toolkit Nutshell

Developed by the American Bar Association’s Presidential Working Group to Advance WellBeing in the Legal Profession.

Download the Nutshell Version

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)

What Makes Lawyers Happy – Redefining Professional Success?

Here you’ll find news from The Florida Bar News and Journal, research, and state and national articles.

Articles From The Florida Bar News

Mindfulness, Metaphors, and More

The practicing of mindfulness is fairly straightforward. You likely know a standard mindfulness practice that involves focusing attention on the sensations of the breath and when you notice mind wandering, returning attention to the breath. The instruction is simple, it’s easy to get started, the benefits are robust, and yet the practice can be challenging….

Four mindfulness practices for these times

We live in exciting times. We live in challenging times. And some of the excitement and challenge arises because the future is, by its very nature, uncertain and uncertainty can be a source of anxiety and alarm that compromises wellbeing, workflow, and relationships.  The uncertainty surrounding the upcoming election along with the many health, economic,…

Taking Stock on World Mental Health Day

From the outset of my legal career I’ve witnessed the toll our profession can take on our mental health, even in the best of times. We often measure success in terms of billable hours or getting our name on the firm’s letterhead, but it’s past time to update this perspective. Professional success can and should…

The Mindful Lawyer: Breathing into clarity and calm

People who practice mindfulness tend to fall into one of two camps.  There are those who are interested in finding calm and those who are interested in finding clarity. This is an overstatement, of course, and many land in both camps, but there tends to be a preference.  What is yours?  In this month’s column,…

YLD works to promote mental health and wellness and bias elimination education

YLD President Adam White says he is willing to compromise after the Board of Legal Specialization and Education rejected a division proposal to make mental health and wellness and bias elimination credits mandatory within the 33 CLE hours that Bar members must earn every three years. “We are not in any way taking an adverse…

The Mindful Lawyer: Practicing together online

You may have noticed the abundance of online programs and trainings associated with just about everything. . . including mindfulness. These include both multi-session trainings and short drop-in mindfulness practice sessions. This month’s column offers you some general information, insights, and tips for drawing upon these sessions in ways helpful to you. Meditating Alone The…

Bar exam registrants may now call helpline for counseling assistance

To assist with added stresses caused by the pandemic, all registrants for the August 2020 bar exam in Florida may now use the Florida Lawyers Helpline — a free confidential 24/7 service providing professional mental-health counseling. By calling 1-833-FL1-WELL (1-833-351-9355), exam registrants will speak with counselors who can also make referrals for up to three free…

ADR Section to offer a six-part webinar focusing on health and wellness

In addition to COVID-19, Florida lawyers are facing another potential contagion — society’s skyrocketing anxiety. “There’s people losing their jobs, there’s riots, there’s an election, there’s all kinds of things going on, and it’s out of control,” said Miami attorney and mediator Patrick Russell. “As legal professionals, we’re dealing with agitated clients.” So the Alternative…

The Mindful Lawyer: Furthering the cause of justice

We lawyers are guardians of justice. Whatever our practice area, whatever “side” we are on, whatever our political or ideological leanings, we are stewards of the rule of law. Earlier this month, the Young Lawyer’s Division of the ABA initiated a five-part series titled, “Liberty & Justice … For All? Confronting Systemic Racism and Addressing…

The Mindful Lawyer: Insights from a three-and-a-half-year meditation retreat

One of the reasons for the legal profession’s interest in mindfulness is the popularization of scientific research examining changes in brain structure and function associated with meditation. Some of the most compelling findings from early work in this area came from monks who had meditated over the course of many years for upwards to 50,000…

The Mindful Lawyer: Finding the sweet spot

A core component of many definitions of mindfulness and to many mindfulness practices is “attention.” You may have heard that mindfulness involves “paying attention on purpose” or been instructed to direct attention to the breath. Given how easy it is to become distracted, lose focus, and get lost in mind wandering, practices that can help…

Section leaders work to educate their members; are confident lawyers will adjust

With part of its mission to “preserve and protect the jury system,” the Trial Lawyers Section has every reason to feel uniquely targeted by COVID-19. Two months ago, the Florida Supreme Court suspended jury trials and ordered judges to use remote technology whenever possible to protect the public. “While our courts are open, the door’s…

With the Florida Lawyers Helpline, the emphasis is on ‘help’

The Florida Lawyers Helpline, the newest Florida Bar member benefit, is called a “help” line for an important reason, says one of the professionals who worked to create it. “It’s all about perception,” said Lisa Hardy, vice president of clinical operations for CorpCare Associates, Inc., the Atlanta-based provider. More than a traditional hotline, Florida Lawyers…

Broward YLS promotes health and wellness with positive message videos

Each Monday during May’s Health & Wellness Month, Broward County Bar Association‘s Young Lawyers Section committed to bringing videos from young lawyers around the state with positive messages about what they’re doing to #LiveWell during the coronavirus crisis, as well as tips that members can use. But instead of one member at a time, the YLD is…

Bar launches free Mental Health Helpline

With surveys showing the COVID-19 pandemic taking a toll on the nation’s mental health, Florida Bar leaders are accelerating the launch of a confidential Florida Bar Mental Health Helpline. “It is clear that our members are facing, as is all of society, a crisis of epic proportions,” said President-elect Dori Foster-Morales. Beginning May 1, some…

LegalFuel webinar explores reducing stress and staying sane in the age of COVID-19

Adding the stress of social distancing and the fear of an “invisible enemy” to an already high-pressure career, the COVID-19 pandemic is putting the mental health of Florida lawyers at increased risk, an expert warns. “We’re all pretty overwhelmed right now,” said South Carolina marriage and family therapist Amy Wood. “Having worked with attorneys for…

A message to the membership from President-elect Foster-Morales

Dear Fellow Florida Bar Member: These are the most uncertain of times. While we all recall difficult times, none compare to the way in which this pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of our lives and will require true resilience and reliance on our support systems in equal measure. It is my prayer that you…

Mindfulness Practice: Observe the moment as it just is

The practice of law is often in the service of justice. Justice for our clients, for a cause, for society. It may express itself in the outcomes of criminal matters, civil lawsuits, administrative rulings, and in the enactment and enforcement of laws and regulations. And while justice can take many forms, when realized it inevitably…

YLD’s newest #StigmaFreeYLD video tackles failing the bar exam

People who didn’t pass the bar exam on their first try do go on to become incredible lawyers, and it isn’t a measure of how successful you will be in life, according to Ethan Wall, co-chair of the Young Lawyers Division’s Mental Health and Wellness Committee. Dealing with failing the bar exam is the subject…

Board approves the creation of a mental-health helpline

Florida Bar members would get free access to a confidential, 24-hour mental health helpline, possibly this summer, under a contract approved March 20 by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee met via conference call to consider a host of agenda items from a Board of Governors meeting that was cancelled in the wake of the…

Mindfully Washing Hands

Concerns over contracting the coronavirus have led to health warnings to wash hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds. A popular mindfulness practice involves washing hands. As it is a short practice, it is termed an “informal practice,” to distinguish it from the more traditional “formal” periods of practice. This month we’ll explore the…

Mental-health helpline, budget top board’s March agenda

The Board of Governors is expected to consider establishing a Florida Bar mental-health helpline when it meets March 20, part of a continuing effort to address the health and well being of its members. The recommendation comes from the Standing Committee on Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers, which voted at the Bar’s Winter…

TJ Reddick Bar Association takes up mental-health issues

THE TJ REDDICK BAR ASSOCIATION recently heard from William “Bill” Mulligan, Florida Bar discipline counsel in Ft. Lauderdale, and Molly Paris, assistant director of Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., about how mental health can affect your practice. Mulligan discussed the Bar’s discipline process and how the failure to take care of your mental health can lead…

The Mindful Lawyer: Don’t be afraid to out yourself as a meditator

One of the great joys of teaching is when the student becomes the teacher. A few years ago, at a mindfulness in law conference, I found myself sitting next to Amanda Leipold, a former student who, a decade earlier, was among the first to enroll in Miami Law’s mindfulness class for 1L’s. The next semester,…

YLD renews its #StigmaFreeYLD campaign

While serving nearly a decade as a prosecutor, Delray Beach attorney Danielle Dudai had a front-row seat to the dark side of human nature. Dudai brought more than 50 cases to trial, including convicting a South Florida rapper of human trafficking, before the work took a toll. “It can be really soul-crushing and soul-destroying to…

The Mindful Lawyer: Relaxing a tension and attention

It is said that the practice of mindfulness is simple but not easy. This column is intended to help bridge this gap by shining a little light on “attention,” a building block to so many mindfulness practices. Don’t let the play on words in the title detract from the seriousness of its message: the ability…

A mindful transition to greater peace

A life in the law can be filled with conflict and challenges, both at work and home. Each has its charms and, at times, may be the more stable and supportive environment. As the practice of law is explicitly adversarial and most who enter the profession expect that it will be stressful, one may feel…

Bar’s mental health and wellness panel sets its agenda

The Florida Bar campaign to destigmatize mental illness and promote health and wellness in the profession remains a top priority. That’s the message Bar leaders delivered to the Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee at an October 17 meeting in Tampa. “This committee is important, super important,” President John Stewart told committee members…

The Mindful Lawyer: We Are All In This Together

As mindfulness has become more richly infused into the fabric of the legal profession, a shift is taking place from a primary focus on the lawyer and members of the legal profession to the broader relational context to include clients and parties to a dispute. Such a shift raises interesting and important questions about the…

Making it personal: The effects of alcohol and substance abuse in the legal community

Since I joined the bench as a county judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit in 2005, it has been my mission to do my part to enhance the legal profession. Fortunately, there is not a lack of opportunities to participate in educating and mentoring legal practitioners, law students, and others. When the chair of The…

AG’s round table focuses on mental health in the criminal justice system

 For nearly two decades, Michael, a homeless man with mental-health issues, was a fixture at the same intersection in Sarasota. He regularly found himself at odds with the law. Sarasota County Judge Erika Quartermaine called him the “face of the homeless” in Sarasota. That was until Michael finally received the mental-health treatment he so…

Mindfulness and the law: The renewal of an old friendship

The legal profession’s embrace of mindfulness took many by surprise. It still does. Today’s column takes a serious look at the role of mindfulness in the law and of the law’s connection to mindfulness. That mindfulness practices can help enhance concentration, refine the ability to detect mind wandering, and regulate emotions amid challenging experiences, helps…

The Mindful Lawyer

The resolution of disputes often involves the mediation process. Many readers of this column will have participated in a mediation and a large number of attorneys and judges become certified mediators. The central role of mediator neutrality, and the challenge of maintaining both the appearance of neutrality and minimizing the influence of implicit and explicit…

The Heart of Mindfulness

This column offers readers information on mindfulness and related domains, drawn from the insights and experiences of lawyers and judges who have been studying and practicing both law and mindfulness for many years. Whereas 10 years ago the popularity of mindfulness was just beginning to seep into the legal landscape, it has since become regular…

The Mindful Lawyer

There was a time, in recent memory, when yoga was unfamiliar to many and regarded as an esoteric practice not particularly relevant to one’s life. Today that has changed, a shift that speaks for itself. Some see parallels between yoga and meditation, and indeed, not only is meditation, and in particular mindfulness meditation, gaining in…

FBBE will pay for required mental health, substance abuse evaluations

Applicants to The Florida Bar who are asked to have an evaluation for potential mental health or substance abuse problems will have that evaluation paid for by the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, under a new policy adopted effective March 21. According to a FBBE press release, the new policy continues the Bar Examiners’ policies…

The Mindful Lawyer

The practice of law differs from many other high stress, high stakes professions in that it is adversarial by design. The battles waged, however, are not inherently personal, yet it can be all too easy to regard another’s words and deeds as personal attacks, which can interfere with the purposeful, focused, and effective charge one…

The Mindful Lawyer

Lawyers and judges make decisions that have consequences. The decision-making process is a complex and fascinating one, and many factors can influence the quality of our decision making and our confidence and comfort with the decisions we make. Mindfulness practices have been found to be of benefit to the decision-making process in a variety of…

The Mindful Lawyer

By Scott Rogers Special to the News The New Year is here, and with it important reminders of the challenge and promise of transitions. Whether it’s transitioning from the holiday season to the busy work week, from a well-intended New Year’s resolution to the practical realities of seeing it to fruition, or the daily balancing…

UF students crave more health and wellness resources

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STUDENT Education & Admissions to the Bar Committee and the Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism recently met with law students at the University of Florida to talk about the Bar’s efforts to promote health and wellness and lift the persistent cloud that clings to mental illness and listen to student’s concerns. From…

The Mindful Lawyer

Mindfulness and motions for clarification and relief Special to the News The practice of mindfulness, like the practice of law, can take many forms. Today, we explore ways of practicing mindfulness that incorporate movement and do not depend on sitting still or sequestering oneself from the busyness of everyday life. This exploration is couched in…

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Special to the News Lawyers and judges who are introduced to mindfulness, perhaps through a presentation, webinar, or article, or talking with a friend or colleague, often are interested in learning more. A popular mindfulness training program is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or “MBSR,” which is perhaps the most widely researched and delivered mindfulness program in…

The Florida Bar and YLD designate May as health and wellness month

    The Florida Bar is partnering with the Young Lawyers Division to designate the month of May as “Health and Wellness Month” for Florida lawyers. This comes on the heels of a year when the Bar has had an unprecedented level of focus and commitment to health and wellness issues. The Bar will be…

The Mindful Lawyer

The Mindful Lawyer ‘You can’t change the waves but you can learn to surf’ Special to the News The law is, by its very nature, adversarial. We lawyers have chosen a profession that calls on us to move into situations riddled with conflict. And each time we do our job and move on to the…

When lawyers need help, let’s make sure they don’t fear getting it

When lawyers need help, let’s make sure they don’t fear getting it Florida Supreme Court Most lawyers work in stressful jobs. Mine often is. So are the jobs of most of my friends in the profession. It is no surprise, then, that stress-related disease hits attorneys at a much higher rate than other people. It…

The Mindful Lawyer

Mindfulness ‘isn’t a bump-free ride’ Special to the News Mindfulness tends to reveal its benefits — whether it be moments of clarity and calm, being less overcome by impulses and feeling emotionally reactive, or experiencing greater focus and concentration — to those who set aside time to practice. And for many, these shifts in attention,…

The Mindful Lawyer

The Mindful Lawyer Special to the News The Mindful Lawyer column first appeared in this year’s August 1 issue of the News, marking eight years since the publication initially reported on mindfulness and the law. Over the course of the past decade, interest in supporting the mental, physical, and emotional health and well-being of lawyers,…

Bar YLD promotes health and wellness

For the third year in a row, The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division has designated May its “Health and Wellness Month.” With every year that passes, the YLD increasingly sees indications that quality of life concerns have become more important than ever to young lawyers. President-elect Zack Zuroweste opined as to why this might be:…

YLD devotes May to attorney health and wellness

May will mark The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division’s second annual “Health and Wellness Month,” designed to bring awareness to the mental and physical issues that affect lawyers’ quality of life. This year, the YLD wants to raise awareness through several month-long programs that will help lawyers establish healthier habits and provide them with support…

Mindfulness Studies gains traction at UM

Mindfulness Studies gains traction at UM Associate Editor S ome of the most popular and well-attended courses at the University of Miami School of Law aren’t part of the core curriculum or required for graduation. Instead, the classes are part of the primarily voluntary mindfulness program, only in its third year at the school. The…

Mindfulness program aims to help law students live in the moment

To be an effective law student or lawyer, it is important to be able to focus on the task at hand. Obsessing about the past or worrying about the future can diminish that focus and dilute effectiveness. That’s one reason the University of Miami has decided to introduce law students to contemplative practices that provide…

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.