2021-2022 Erie County Bar Foundation Campaign

Membership Assistance Program

“I realized it was not permission, it was a duty that we had, an ethical duty that we had to attend to the ways in which trauma and vicarious trauma disrupt ourselves and to repair that on a regular basis. Without that kind of careful, ongoing care of ourselves and of the things that give us meaning, we would eventually have nothing to give our clients and no resources through which to render service.”

Koh Peters on Ethic/Trauma

Stress, Burnout, Vicarious Trauma, and Other Emotional Realities in the Lawyer/Client Relationship: A Panel Discussion (with Marjorie A. Silver & Sanford Portnoy), 19 Touro Law Review 847 (2004)

Proposed Member Assistance Program for the Bar Association of Erie County

The leadership of the Bar Association of Erie County (BAEC) has identified lawyer well- being as a strategic priority and is committed to working to destigmatize the pursuit of mental health within the legal profession. In partnership with Child & Family Services Employee Assistance Program (C&FS EAP), the BAEC will provide timely and ready access to professional counseling and related services to address the prevalence of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and related challenges that may impact professional conduct and quality of life.

C&FS EAP proposes a Member Assistance Program (MAP) for the BAEC, and its members, based on the fundamentals of employee assistance services. Member lawyers and their household members will have access to resilience building interventions and connection to community resources that support mental health and well-being with the degree of separation and privacy that is afforded by this external partnership.

Member Assistance Program Services

Counseling and Coaching: Members and their household family members may receive up to four (4) sessions per issue/concern with a MAP clinician telephonically, virtually, or in person at one of our convenient locations. It is anticipated that most Members will choose to be seen in person. Immediate telephonic counseling assistance is also available 24/7 at C&FS EAP’s main telephone number.

Our brief, solution-focused model of up to four (4) sessions is a goal-oriented process that encourages early client engagement and identification of strengths and resources that are available or accessible to the client to help them achieve their desired outcome. While our experience tells us that most Members will resolve their concerns within their MAP sessions, MAP clinicians will coordinate the referral to higher level of longer-term care for those Members that need further support. Referrals will be made as soon as is clinically indicated so that the program does not unintentionally serve as a barrier to receipt of an appropriate level of care.