Florida Lawyers Helpline receives favorable review
The Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee met in Orlando Wednesday, which kicked off the first day of the 2023 Florida Bar Winter Meeting.
At the top of the agenda was the potential renewal of The Florida Lawyers Helpline with provider CorpCare. The Bar’s Program Evaluation Committee recently recommended that the Bar renew its contract with CorpCare.
The Florida Lawyers Helpline (833-351-9355) is a free and completely confidential service that connects members with professional counselors who work to help them overcome life’s challenges, balance priorities, and better handle both personal and professional pressures.
Established three years ago, the helpline provides five free mental health sessions for members of the Bar as well as Florida Registered Paralegals. Mental Health and Wellness Chair Karl Klein said the work of the helpline was met favorably by the Program Evaluation Committee.
“There was a lot of support in the PEC for the helpline,” said Klein, adding that while the PEC would like to see participation grow, they were pleased so many were taking advantage of the services the helpline provides.
Klein said for the first three quarters of 2022, the helpline averaged about 30 new cases per quarter and hoped that the final quarter of the year would show increased numbers.
“Our current goal is for 2% of the Bar to call the helpline.”
The helpline recently created a new webpage and Klein says the page generated 425 unique views since the end of November. The statistic that stands out is time spent on the page, Klein said, noting the average user spends 2.5 minutes on the new page, nearly double the normal page traffic for other pages on the Bar’s website.
The Mental Health and Wellness Communications Subcommittee also has been working with the Bar’s communications team to develop marketing and social media graphics as well as updated logos for the helpline. Klein said the new marketing materials are based on the term “confidential service.”
CorpCare will also send two representatives to the Bar’s Annual Convention in June in Boca Raton to communicate to Florida’s legal community about the importance of using the helpline and its emphasis on mental health.
The meeting was attended by current and future Bar leadership, including President Gary Lesser, President-elect Scott Westheimer, and President-elect Designate Roland Sanchez-Medina.
Lesser explained why the work this committee does is so important and essential.
“Florida has become a national leader in mental health and wellness. Other state bars call us and ask if they can share information about our programs,” Lesser said. “We know what the challenges are.”
Lesser tied in his own mentoring initiative, which he said was an area of mental health challenges.
“The need for a mentoring program is greater than it’s ever been,” Lesser said. “We need to make sure that new lawyers can be their best selves.”
Westheimer thanked the members of the committee for their hard work.
“This issue has become more and more important, particularly throughout COVID. I hope to expand upon the work we’ve already done.”
Sanchez-Medina went even further.
“This is the biggest issue in the Bar, and I thank you all for your service,” he said.