Attorneys + Depression= Deadly Mix

October 4-10, 2009:  Mental Illness Awareness Week

Right now I’m wearing two hats – that of  Attorney and Mental Health America of South Carolina Board Member. And it’s for my love for both that I bring this topic to the forefront. As I received the e-newsletter from MHA SC announcing Mental Illness Awareness Week, I was reminded of information I’d heard a few years back when I attended a Lawyers Helping Lawyers annual conference in Charleston – Attorneys are diagnosed with clinical depression at 4 times the rate of the general population.

ATTORNEYS ARE DIAGNOSED WITH CLINICAL DEPRESSION AT 4 TIMES THE RATE OF THE GENERAL POPULATION.

Whoa!

And, the Lawyers Helping Lawyers conference also quoted statistics about attorneys and addiction. Again, the profession tends toward higher rates of alcohol and substance abuse than most.

My goal today is to let attorneys who are feeling depressed know that You Are Not Alone. And there is hope.

You can get a free anonymous online screening from MHA SC. And if you want to talk with someone, contact Lawyers Helping Lawyers (LHL) at 1-(866) 545-9590 or contact an LHL committee member directly. This is a confidential program.

Don’t wait to get help. It may save your practice. It can save your life.

-RFW

PS – A really great video on suicide and its impact is available online at http://www.someoneyouknowsc.org/.

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