The Crisis Text Line

In 2013, the people behind the youth outreach program began noticing that young people text more than they do talk, and so they developed the Crisis Text Line. The now 3-year-old operation instantly connects volunteer counselors with anyone who feels the need to “type” in – such as those contemplating suicide, or dealing with domestic abuse – with the goal to listen, engage, offer advice and prevent harm.

The Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting 741741 and is free on most carriers. Learn more about the Crisis Text Line and one of its volunteers, Barb Childs, in this Portland Press Herald article.

Idaho State Bar Publication Features the Lawyer Assistance Program, Talks Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

The August 2016 issue of The Advocate, the official publication of the Idaho State Bar, is sponsored in part by the Idaho Lawyers Assistance Program. In addition to a welcome message from the Chair of the Idaho Lawyers Assistance Program, Jamie Shropshire, the issue contains the following articles:

  • A Perspective From Bar Counsel’s Office: Addressing Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues, by Caralee Lambert
  • A Personal Story About Mental Illness in Our Profession, by Andrea Courtney
  • What is the Lawyers Assistance Program? A Short Q & A, by Paul McFarlane

Access the full August 2016 issue of The Advocate here.

SAMHSA Recovery Month Focuses on Family Support

Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors Recovery Month to “increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover.” Now in its 27th year, to highlight the importance of family support, the 2016 Recovery Month theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!”  Those in recovery – and their family members – are invited to share their stories and successes so that others may be encouraged.

Visit the SAMHSA Recovery Month website for information and materials on attending and planning events, resources to help reach those in need of assistance, personal stories of recovery, and more.

FREE ABA Webinar: What ABA/Hazelden Betty Ford Study on Substance Use and Mental Health Means for Future of the Profession

Don’t forget to register for the upcoming (free!) ABA CLE webinar taking place September 15, 2016 at 1-2:30 PM ET:

Charting a Sustainable Path Forward: What the ABA/Hazelden Betty Ford Study on Substance Use and Mental Health Means for the Future of the Profession

The American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation present the results from their collaboration on a groundbreaking new research project that collected data on the current rates of substance use, depression and anxiety among licensed attorneys throughout the United States. Fifteen thousand lawyers from nineteen states across the country participated. This landmark research was published in the January/February, 2016 issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine. The study findings are powerful and important serving to initiate, inform and guide decision making and policy development in the legal field and to promote cultural change to increase attorney wellness, competence and ethical behavior.

Join our panel as they discuss:

  • The current prevalence of substance abuse, anxiety and depression among U.S. attorneys and the implications for the legal profession
  • The limited help seeking behaviors and their origins employed by lawyers
  • A systems approach to increasing attorney wellness, competence and ethical behavior

Speaker list:

  • (Moderator) Terry Harrell/ Chair, Commission on Lawyers Assistance Program/ Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program/ Indianapolis, IN
  • Linda Albert, LCSW, CSAC/ Manager of the Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program/ State Bar of Wisconsin/ Madison, WI
  • Patrick Krill, J.D. LADC/ Principal and Founder at Krill Strategies, a behavioral health consulting firm exclusively for the legal profession/ Former Director Legal Professionals Program/ Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation/ Center City, MN

Program made possible through the generous support of the Fellows of the Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section


The Struggle: A New Series from Above the Law

Above the Law has created a new series called “The Struggle” which posts real stories, submitted through emails and messages, about law student experiences with substance use and mental health issues. So far, the following stories have been released as part of the series:

  • When Law School Gives You An Eating Disorder
  • Two Suicides In Two Months At The Same Law School
  • Will Alcoholism Treatment Affect Your Character And Fitness Review?
  • Law School’s Downward Spiral And The ‘Shredding Of Your Self-Worth’
  • Sex, Drugs, And Slitting Your Wrists In Law School
  • Law Students Suffer From High Rates Of Depression And Binge Drinking

About the series, Above the Law writes, “We are posting these stories because sometimes what law students really need is to know that they’re not alone in their pain. Sometimes what law students need is to know that they’ve got a friend who is willing to share not just in their triumphs, but also in their struggles.” Access “The Struggle” from Above the Law here.


New Consulting Firm will Educate Law Firms on Addiction and Mental Health

Patrick Krill, former director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Legal Professionals Program, has opened a consulting business that will work exclusively with law firms to educate them on addiction and mental health issues in the legal profession, and on how to create a supportive environment for those who may be facing these types of issues. Recently, Krill co-authored the collaborative study conducted by ABA CoLAP and Hazelden, The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, which reports alarming rates of alcohol use disorders and mental health problems in the legal profession.

Learn more in this ABA Journal article.

Winner of the 2016 CoLAP Meritorious Service Award

The Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) is pleased to award the 2016 CoLAP Meritorious Service Award to Jane B. Grise, Director of Academic Success and Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law, for her significant contributions to improving law student mental health and physical wellness. Under Grise’s direction, the school implemented a wellness program that includes the Dean’s Challenge Program, an innovative competition that motivates students to develop healthy behaviors by awarding points – and prizes – for exercising and attending scheduled events on topics such as healthy eating, mindfulness and stress.

The 2016 Meritorious Service Award is presented on behalf of the CoLAP Law School Assistance Committee. Learn more about the Award, view past recipients and learn about the contributions of the other 2016 nominees here.