STAYING SANE AS A LITIGATOR 7: PREVENTING LAWYER SUICIDE
This is a major topic, and not one that I write about lightly. It arises from an event I attended last week in Leeds in relation to men’s mental health in the legal profession. I tweeted about attending very briefly (the subject does not lend itself easily to the sound bites of Twitter). I received a number of thoughtful responses from many who had experienced, or had first-hand knowledge of, dealing with the problems of mental health. Several respondents commented on how many lawyer suicides they knew about. This is a subject that needs to be addressed – constantly. I have collated some useful articles and posts, together with links to organisations that can help. (I welcome other links and guides to seeking help).
THE SCALE OF THE PROBLEM
A survey carried out by the Junior Lawyers Division earlier this year, and summarised in the The Law Society Gazette, stated that one in 15 lawyers have suicidal thoughts.
- LawCare is a charity that supports good mental health and wellbeing in the legal community.
- Wellbeing at the Bar has a webpage, it is worth noting that this goes well beyond barristers. Links include
- The Law Society We need to open up to each other to save lives
- CLC (the property law regulator) has an excellent article on Preventing Suicide in the legal community
Signs to look out for in yourself or others
How to have a conversation with someone you believe to be suicidal
If you have thought of suicide
It also has a list of resources
“Call LawCare’s free, independent, confidential helpline on 0800 279 6888 for immediate support for yourself or visit www.lawcare.org.uk to access webchat, email support and useful factsheets and information. You can also contact us if you are worried about a colleague and are unsure how to support them.
Samaritans – call 116 123 24 hours
Samaritans – for everyone
Call 116 123
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men
Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
Call 0300 111 5065
Suicide Bereaved Network
Call 0300 999 0003″
AN INTERNATIONAL PROBLEM
This is not a problem confine to the UK. There are many thoughtful articles and posts:
- Foster Web Marketing The Top Three Factors for Attorney Suicide and What We Can Do to Help
- CNN Why are Lawyers Killing Themselves?
- Attorney at Work The Suicide of a Law Student Hits Home
- Above the Law Lawyer Suicides are becoming too frequent
- North Caroline Lawyer Assistance Program Depression and Suicide
- Law Lifeline The Truth About Suicide
- Law.Com A Lawyer Who Survived His Suicide Attempt Recounts His Experience
- Lawyers Weekly Why are lawyers, and other professionals, depressed?
- Law.Com As Attorney Suicides Mount, a Survivor Speaks Out.
- BCG Another Lawyer Suicide: How the Psychology of Being a Big Firm Lawyer Can Tear You Down