The BAEC has a number of programs, services, and resources available to the WNY legal community, dedicated completely to helping with their mental health. Click the buttons below to jump to a particular resource.
Member Assistance Program
The Bar Association of Erie County has partnered with Child & Family Services EAP to provide a Member Assistance Program (“MAP”) to all BAEC members and members of their household.
The hallmark of MAP is immediate confidential access to mental health counseling. The MAP will complement and broaden the other wellbeing resources and services offered by the BAEC and Foundation, all of which can be found on this page.
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.
Wellbeing Resources Outside the BAEC
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.
NYSBA Women's Support Group
The New York State Bar Association Lawyer Assistance Program and the Women in Law Section facilitate a Women’s Support Group taking place on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, beginning at 5:30 (NEW TIME). The Group will be facilitated by Susan Klemme, LMSW and will meet via Zoom. The confidential group will be a place of connection and community, support and safety for women in the profession, from law school through retirement. It is open to anyone who identifies as female and wishes to connect with others to discuss issues relative to their experiences as a woman in the profession. Discussion and participation by attendees are encouraged to ensure the conversation centers on topics that those involved are seeking to explore. Looking forward to seeing you then. Questions? Email Stacey Whiteley, LAP Director at email@example.com.