The BAEC has a number of programs, services, and resources available to the WNY legal community, dedicated completely to helping with their mental health.
Lawyer Well-Being Week
May 3-7 is Lawyer Well-Being Week! Let’s take this week to focus on our well-being and be intentional about improving our physical and emotional wellness.
Below are activity ideas you can try for each day this week! Share with your friends and colleagues what you’re doing this week to boost your well-being!
Monday, May 3
The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (Yep, Breathing!). The way you breathe may be making you anxious. Try out the stress-calming 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise Activity Guide, and post about your experience using the hashtag #WellbeingWeekInLaw.
Tuesday, May 4
Wednesday, May 5
CAREER & INTELLECTUAL WELL-BEING
Flow: An Animated Book Summary, 5:20 mins. A short, entertaining video summarizing the best-selling book, which proposes that fostering more “flow” (a state of complete absorption in engaging activities that are optimally challenging) in our daily lives is a key to growth and happiness.
Try Out Job Crafting, which is a continual activity in which we seek to create a better fit between our strengths, values, and preferences and our work. Follow the Job Crafting Activity Guide and post about your experience on social media using the hashtag #WellbeingWeekInLaw.
Thursday, May 6
Nelson D. Schwartz (2020). Working From Home Poses Hurdles for Employees of Color. New York Times. “Without the networks and encounters that offices provide, companies must foster the visibility of Black and Hispanic workers.”
Try out the Loving-Kindness Meditation Activity Guide, which guides you through a practice of mentally sending warmth towards others that is linked to many psychological benefits. Post about your experience using the hashtag #WellbeingWeekInLaw.
Friday, May 7
Learn to Retrain Unhelpful Thoughts. Review the Retraining Unhelpful Thoughts Activity Guide and start practicing science-based skills to curb the negative effects of dysfunctional thoughts that can lead to poor mental health.
Lawyers Helping Lawyers
The Association’s Lawyers Helping Lawyers (LHL) Committee was established in 1978 to provide a confidential channel of communication for attorneys and judges experiencing alcohol or drug-related difficulties. The LHL is a committee of volunteers. We’re lawyers just like you. Our only qualification for helping is that we have been there. We have stopped our dependency on alcohol and drugs and we know how to help. It’s your career. It’s your call.
Reach out to the Lawyers Helping Lawyers by calling 716.852.1777.
ONE IN FIVE ATTORNEYS SUFFER FROM SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER.
That’s nearly two times more than the general population. Despite the fact that addiction does not discriminate, legal professionals have a higher predisposition to the illness. Why? It’s the nature of the profession; lawyers tend to be overachievers, carry an enormous workload and often work in emotionally charged, high-pressure environments.
SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER IS A TREATABLE HEALTH PROBLEM.
It is a physical and emotional disease with absolutely nothing to do with morals or will power. It is an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs. It is a progressive illness that will only get worse without help.
HOW ARE DRUGS OR ALCOHOL AFFECTING YOUR LIFE?
Just like any disease, symptoms vary from person to person. Some people exhibit out-of-control behavior while others slowly progress over decades. Some are daily drinkers/users where others abstain for long periods of time and then binge.
- Lie about alcohol or drug use?
- Get jumpy, shaky, cranky, nervous or have cravings because you need alcohol or drugs?
- Use alcohol or drugs in the morning?
- Miss work or perform poorly due to alcohol or drug use?
- Avoid family and friends in favor of using alcohol or drugs?
- Suffer from depression?
- Make poor decisions including sexual risks or drive under the influence?
Maybe you have a problem. Maybe you don’t. If, however, you drink or use more than you want to…if you get into trouble or if you simply find your addiction getting in the way of family, friends, and work….please call us.
Take control of your problem before someone else does. If you or someone you know is impaired by alcohol or substance dependency, Lawyers Helping Lawyers can help – discreetly and confidentially.
For a confidential referral to a member of the LHL Committee, call 716.852.1777.
Confidential and Protected
Judiciary Law Section 499; Lawyer Assistance Committees, Chapter 327 of the Laws of 1993
1. Confidential information privileged. The confidential relations and communications between a member or authorized agent of a lawyer assistance committee sponsored by a state or local bar association and any person, firm or corporation communicating with such a committee, its members or authorized agents shall be deemed to be privileged on the same basis as those provided by law between attorney and client. Such privileges may be waived only by the person, firm or corporation, which has furnished information to the committee.
2. Immunity from liability. Any person, firm or corporation in good faith providing information to, or in any other way participating in the affairs of any of the committees referred to in subdivision one of this section shall be immune from civil liability that might otherwise result by reason of such conduct. For the purpose of any proceeding, the good faith of any such person, firm or corporation shall be presumed.
Recovery Meeting for Legal Professionals
Meetings: Every Thursday
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Location: St. Louis RC Church
35 Edward Street, at Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14202
24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 716.834.3131
24-Hour Addiction Hotline: 716.831.7007
Mental Health / Suicide / Addiction / Trauma / Domestic & Sexual Violence
Support for Families of Those with Substance Abuse Disorder
Committee to Assist Lawyers with Depression
The Committee coordinates, assists, and supports activities and resources dedicated to assisting lawyers in the Association who suffer from depression.
Erie County Bar Foundation
The Foundation provides confidential assistance to attorneys who are troubled by emotional illness, financial hardship, alcohol and drug dependencies, and similar difficulties. In addition, attorneys who do not require financial assistance from the Foundation may have access to the services of the attorney resource counselor on a fee basis.
Mental Health Hotlines
Regardless of what’s going, or what you’re struggling with, there is someone there to help. We’ve compiled a number of hotlines and organizations that are here to help.