Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Purpose of this Blog

I created this blog about trauma and lawyers' mental health because I see a need for meaningful discussion on this issue to help support lawyers' well-being. My goal is to help raise awareness, connect people who may feel isolated, and begin a movement towards addressing this issue in a way that promotes the health and well-being of lawyers.

I recently wrote about the need for this kind of discussion here:

I should make clear that I am not an expert on trauma or mental health. I can't provide counselling or mental health advice. Anything I post here should be viewed with that caveat in mind. That said, I feel (1) that connecting with others who may be struggling is an important part of promoting health and well-being and (2) that discussion on issues where silence usually prevails will benefit those who feel alienated and alone.

Also, any views expressed in this blog are solely my own and are not intended to represent the views of my employer in any way.

My hope is to just use this as a place where connections can be made and brainstorming can commence. If there is no interest, I may just end up deleting or rethinking it. If there is significant interest, then I may end up migrating the content to a more sophisticated forum. (I'm not web-savvy so blogger seemed as good a place as any to start).

I have only a vague idea at this stage of what shape a project like this might take. Tentatively, I'm thinking that this could potentially lead to:
  • Sharing resources and facilitating discussion relating to the impact of trauma on lawyers' mental health;
  • Sharing links to external supports, to assist people seeking help in researching their options when they are ready to do so;
  • Facilitating connections among those who are interested in discussing the issue (e.g., cpd events, meetups, online chat forum).
Topics for discussion could include:
  • The impact of vicarious trauma generally;
  • The potential impact of a personal trauma history on lawyers' mental health in view of the particular pressures of this profession (exposure to vicarious trauma and/or high stress etc.);
  • Information about the various mental-health issues for which a personal trauma history (or exposure to vicarious trauma) might heighten the risk (e.g., PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction);
  • Ways to create a more "trauma-informed" profession (with respect to lawyers' mental health), and the culture shift that might be required to achieve this;
  • The relationship between trauma and the objectives of diversity, inclusion and equality (specifically how to promote those objectives by properly addressing the issue of trauma and how to ensure that we address trauma in a manner that promotes those objectives).
Obviously these are just my initial thoughts. If anyone has any suggestions about how to approach this issue, I would very much welcome them. 

Also if anyone would like to share some ideas or simply connect, please feel free to contact me privately, or post comments below. Further, if anyone would like me to publish a guest post, please contact me. This is kind of an experiment at this stage so I look forward to seeing what shape it takes (if it works out).

As always, please note that I am a lawyer, not a mental health professional of any kind. I have no expertise in trauma or mental health. Also, please note that any opinions and views expressed in this blog are solely my own and are not intended to represent the views or opinions of my employer in any way.

I am very grateful to have received a "Clawbie" Award for this blog (which reflects the importance of this topic):

For some of my external writing on this topic, see:  


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