How to Effectively Deal with Mental Health and Substance Use Issues for Lawyers
Mental health plays a vital role in the well-being of lawyers. However, due to extensive workloads, client demands, and toxic working environment, they become prone to chronic stress, anxiety, and depression which may put their mental health at stake. Recent studies show a significant percentage of lawyers who are suffering from mental health or substance use problems.
The prevalence of these issues in the legal industry has never been more alarming. Hence, it is crucial to properly acknowledge and address mental health issues by utilizing various risk mitigation strategies, geared towards improving attorney wellness.
Listen as a panel of key thought leaders and professionals assembled by The Knowledge Group presents an in-depth discussion of the prevalence of anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders among lawyers. Speakers will dig deeper as they discuss the implications of these issues for the future of the legal profession. They will also offer best practices and risk mitigation strategies to minimize mental health and substance use issues in the legal industry.
Key issues covered in this course are:
- Mental Health and Substance Use Issues Among Attorneys: Overview and Statistics
- Implications for the Legal Industry
- Addressing Challenges
- Risk Mitigation Strategies
- What Lies Ahead
Terry Harrell, Executive Director
Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program
- What the legal profession doing to reduce problems with mental health and substance use and improve the overall well-being of lawyers. Or what is the legal profession doing to address our challenges and move towards meeting our real potential.
- Research regarding mental health, substance use issues, and help seeking behavior in the legal profession.
- Why substance use and mental health issues are professionalism/ethics issues.
Link Christin, Executive Director of the Legal Professionals Program
Caron Treatment Centers
- Why addiction is so much more difficult to recognize and accept (for the addict as well as others) than other chronic diseases
- Why and how do “high-functioning” lawyers take so long to seek treatment even as their disease becomes more acute
- Why returning to work and maintaining recovery is so much more difficult for lawyers than any other profession
Doris Gundersen, MD, Medical Director
Colorado Physician Health Program
- Become familiar with unique stressors faced by attorneys
- Identify the mental health problems attorneys may be at risk for
- Learn about simple wellness interventions to reduce the risk for mental health and addiction problems.
Mr. Christin brings a lifetime of experience to his role as Executive Director of the Legal Professionals Program at Caron Treatment Centers. As an attorney, licensed and board-certified drug and addiction counselor, therapist, speaker, and author, he has focused for the last seven years exclusively on the treatment of impaired legal professionals in both residential and outpatient settings.
He has launched and managed this national program for lawyers, judges, law students, and paralegals who are in residential treatment. This specialty offering provides education and clinical engagement from pre entry through continuing care. He and his team provide significant and tangible counseling and resources to these professionals multiple times per week while the patients engage in the world-class services and programs at Caron.
Mr. Christin previously practiced law for more than 25 years and was a civil trial lawyer and a partner in two law firms in Pittsburgh, PA. After serving as the Administrator of the National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law he transitioned to a second career, obtaining his Master’s in Addiction Counseling from the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. At that time he founded and directed the first national legal professionals program of its kind at Hazelden Betty Ford, and after more than four years created and served as CEO for Heightened Performance LLC, a behavioral consulting firm for lawyers.
During this time he was an Adjunct Professor at the William Mitchell School of Law, as well as an Assistant Professor at the Hazelden Betty Ford School of Addiction Studies. He was recently appointed as a Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Substance Use Disorder Task Force.
Finally, Mr. Christin continues to speak and write nationally about behavioral health subjects relating to lawyers and law firms, addiction, depression, stress, anxiety, work/life balance, wellness, and re-igniting professional passion. Mr. Christin has had more than 15 articles published over the past three years on issues related to attorneys and mental/behavioral health.
Mr. Christin brings a lifetime of experience to his role as Executive Director of the Legal Professionals Program at Caron …
Dr. Gundersen is board certified in Adult and Forensic Psychiatry. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the University of Colorado. She also maintains a private practice and serves as the Medical Director for the Colorado Physician Health Program where she conducts fitness for duty evaluations of physicians and is engaged in research pertaining to physician health. She is a past president of the Colorado Psychiatric Society as well as the Federation of State Physician Health Programs.
Dr. Gundersen is board certified in Adult and Forensic Psychiatry. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of …
Terry L. Harrell completed her law degree at Maurer School of Law and her Master of Social Work Degree (MSW) at Indiana University. Terry is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor (LCAC) in Indiana and has a nationally recognized Master Addictions Counselor certification from NAADAC. Terry has been with the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP) since 2000 and became the Executive Director in 2002. Locally, Terry is active with the Indiana State Bar Association and is a Fellow of the Indiana Bar Foundation. From 2014-2017 she served as Chair of the American Bar Association's Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs. She is currently the Chair of the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession and serves on the ABA National Task Force on Lawyer Well Being. For her own well-being Terry enjoys walking, running, and spending time with her therapy dog, Gus.
Terry L. Harrell completed her law degree at Maurer School of Law and her Master of Social Work Degree (MSW) …
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About Caron Treatment Centers
For nearly 60 years as a not-for-profit treatment provider, Caron Treatment Centers has transformed the lives of thousands impacted by addiction and substance use through proven, comprehensive and personalized behavioral healthcare solutions.
Caron delivers evidence-based, gender-specific programming while treating patients and families with the respect and compassion they deserve. Caron’s goal is to ease the pain of individuals and families impacted by addiction by restoring health, hope, spirituality and relationships, ultimately preparing them for lifelong recovery.
About Colorado Physician Health Program
Colorado Physician Health Program is a confidential peer assistance service for physicians in Colorado. CPHP provides comprehensive clinical evaluations and health monitoring of physicians. Additionally, we provide education locally, nationally and internationally about physician health and wellbeing. CPHP is actively engaged in clinical research.
About Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program