Keeping Mental Health of Attorneys on Your Mind

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Friends:

Many of you know that during my presidency of the State Bar of Georgia in 2012-2013, I  made mental health of attorneys, and their family members, a primary concern. I have taken every opportunity presented to make us more aware of the stresses that attorneys face just in their daily practices and the toll that has on them and their family. We created the “How to Save a Life” Suicide Prevention Program and we know we have been successful in preventing some attorney suicides. But we also know we need to continue to effort. Often, an attorney reaches out to me about a partner in the firm, or a partner reaches out to me about his son, or counselors reach out to me to see how they can help. I am also thankful and proud that Jonathan Ringel, the Editor of The Daily Report, graciously gives me and others space in the newspaper to write about suicide prevention and to keep the conversation going. This is the only way we will eliminate the stigma of mental illness that prevents so many from reaching out for help. And help is easily available, through our Lawyers Assistance Program (800-327-9631) and the State Bar’s Lawyers Living Well Initiative.  The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is  1-800-273-8255.

And so I was honored to be asked to participate in a podcast on the mental health of lawyers by Miles Mediation. Both Editor/Journalist Jonathan Ringel and Stacey Dougan, a lawyer turned therapist, joined in the discussion as moderated by Miles neutral, Bianca Motley Broom, and CMO, Marcie Dickson. I urge you to listen and to share with your family members, friends and colleagues. It will be worth your time. And just by listening, you may save a life.

 

EPISODE 2.5: EXPLORING ATTORNEY WELL-BEING & MENTAL HEALTH

In this episode, Robin Frazer Clarke, Jonathan Ringel, and Stacey Dougan offer insights on the importance of attorney well-being, suicide prevention, and explore how the culture of the legal profession must change to promote mental health. Miles neutral, Bianca Motley Broom, and CMO, Marcie Dickson, guide the discussion and provide additional resources.

 

Attorney Robin Frazer Clark, Jonathan Ringel, Attorney/Therapist, Stacey DouganRobin Frazer Clark is a personal injury attorney and past president of the State Bar of Georgia (2012-13). During her tenure as bar president, Clark created the “How to Save a Life” program to educate members about the warning signs of suicide. She is a vocal advocate of attorney wellness and suicide prevention.

 

Jonathan Ringel is the editor of the Daily Report, the official legal news source of Georgia. In 2018, he oversaw an informal mental health study that enabled attorneys to share their mental health challenges confidentially. He has written and edited significant pieces aimed at suicide prevention and de-stigmatizing mental health treatment among lawyers.

 

As a lawyer turned therapist, Stacey Dougan works with individual lawyers to enhance their well-being by aligning their needs and values with their professional roles and responsibilities. She has extensive experience in this area, having served as a shareholder, assistant general counsel, and chief professional development officer at Big Law firms.  As a consultant, Dougan partners with bar associations, employers, law schools, and employee assistance programs to improve the well-being of attorneys and law students.

 

Bianca Motley Broom is a strong advocate for attorney well-being. She has written in various outlets about the importance of work-life balance. As an adjunct to this episode, she shared a moving account of the positive impact mental health treatment has had in her own life.

 

This episode is available, along with a special segment featuring former attorney Lisa Smith, author of the memoir A Girl Walks Out of a Bar. Smith’s book details her struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE INFORMATION DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE, VIEW THIS RESOURCE PAGE.

 

The Future of Resolution Podcast is also available on  Apple Podcasts Spotify and Stitcher. This podcast is the latest in a series of episodes that features thought leaders in Georgia’s legal community.

 

Robin Frazer Clark is a trial lawyer who pursues justice for those who have personal injury claims as a result of being injured in motor vehicle wrecks, trucking wrecks, defective products, defective maintenance of roads, premises safety, medical malpractice and other incidents caused by the negligence of others.  Ms. Clark is the 50th President of the State Bar of Georgia, a Past President of Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, a Past President of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta and has practiced law in Georgia for 30 years. She is a member of the International Society of Barristers and of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mrs. Clark is listed as one of the Top 50 Women Trial Lawyers in Georgia and is a Georgia Super Lawyer.

Robin Frazer Clark ~ Dedicated to the Constitution’s Promise of Justice for All.

 

Awards
American Association for Justice Badge
Georgia Trend Legal Elite Badge
State Bar of Georgia Badge
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association Badge
ABOTA Badge
LCA Badge
Top 50 Women attorneys in Georgia Badge
Super Lawyers Badge
Civil Justice Badge
International Society of Barristers Badge