Suicide in the Legal Profession

Lawyer suicide.  We talk about the collegial atmosphere in the bankruptcy legal profession, but that doesn’t prevent an attorney from taking his or her own life.  Is it stress?  Are there warning signs?  Is there a safety net for lawyers who are on the brink?  We cannot ignore the subject just because it doesn’t seem directly related to our law practice.  It affects us all.

The American Bar Association is hosting a Live Twitter Chat on “Suicide Prevention and Postvention in the Legal Profession” on June 27, 2017, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EDT.  One of the guests is from the Kentucky Lawyer Assistance Program (KYLAP).

I have no idea what a Live Twitter Chat is, but I intend to learn and participate.  I hope you do, too.  Here is a link to the ABA announcement about the #LawyerSuicideAwareness Live Twitter Chat.  There is a link in that announcement to a website on how to join a Twitter chat.

Even if you don’t join the Live Twitter Chat, check out the ABA’s resources on suicide in the legal profession, and take a few minutes to learn about the warning signs, risk factors, and prevention strategies.   Access the ABA’s resources on suicide in the legal profession here.   Most importantly, heed this advice from the ABA:

“Be willing to talk about suicide.  Increasing public awareness through dialogue and education helps to eliminate the stigma associated with suicide, encouraging more people to seek help.”

Finally, Kentucky lawyers and staff, make sure you know about KYLAP and bookmark the KYLAP website.

“KYLAP is a program of the Kentucky Bar Association that offers help to lawyers, law students, and judges who are struggling with mental health issues, such as depression, alcohol and drug abuse, stress, compulsive gambling or any other condition that may adversely impact the individual’s personal or professional life.

Contact us [KYLAP] at (502) 226-9373 to get help for any Kentucky lawyer in need.

Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 3.990, all communication with KYLAP is confidential.”


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