Did you know? Ontario lawyers (and their families) have access to a Member Assistance Program (MAP). It is a fully confidential service provided by Homewood Health.
MAP provides secure, single sign-on access to counselling, coaching, online resources and peer volunteers. Members can get professional help with issues related to addictions, mental or physical health, work-life balance, career, family and more.. Learn more
We've pulled together some handy online tools and resources to help you through these challenging times.
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As countries introduce measures to restrict movement as part of efforts to reduce the number of people infected with COVID-19, more and more of us are making huge changes to our daily routines.
The new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues take time to get used to. Adapting to lifestyle changes such as these, and managing the fear of contracting the virus and worry about people close to us who are particularly vulnerable, are challenging for all of us. They can be particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions.
Fortunately, there are lots of things that we can do to look after our own mental health and to help others who may need some extra support and care.
The World Health Organization has published some tips and advice that they hope you will find useful.
WellCan offers free well-being resources to help Canadians develop coping strategies and build resilience to help deal with uncertainty, mental health and substance abuse concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. And they have an App!
Stress Strategies: A free online tool by the Psychology Foundation of Canada that gives practical ways to cope with stress.
BC Lawyer Assistance Program: Stress Management
7 science-based strategies to cope with coronavirus anxiety from Jelana Kecmanovic, Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Georgetown University
The Ontario Bar Association has a host of wellness resources, including a 30-day fitness challenge, quick tips, and a CPD series.
SADNESS VS. DEPRESSION - a video
ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF EXERCISE - a video
Learn how you can create your own happiness
Want more resources?
Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who think they have a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.
American Bar Association: Alcohol Use Disorders - signs & symptoms.
ABA Podcast: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness in the Legal Profession.
17 Ways to Stay Sober When You’re Stuck at Home - Keep your recovery strong during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mindfulness Without Borders (MWB) is a leading provider of best practices and evidenced-based programs on secular mindfulness and social-emotional intelligence to youth, educators, health and corporate professionals in communities around the world. MWB offers in-person and on-line workshops, produce a fantastic blog, and have lots of resources on their website.
MUSE, a Personal Meditation Assistant from Toronto's Interaxon, is wearable tech at its best! It's a headband that, when paired with their app, gives you feedback about your meditation in real time by translating your brain signals into the sounds of weather.
Medcan offers employee health solutions bridge the gap between your benefits plan and the health needs of your employees. Plus, they have some amazing resources for you and your family.
The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace is a leading source of free, practical tools and resources designed to help Canadian employers with the prevention, intervention and management of workplace mental health issues. All tools and resources are available in English and French to anyone, anywhere, at no cost.
Mental health means striking a balance in all aspects of your life: social, physical, spiritual, economic and mental. Reaching a balance is a learning process. At times, you may tip the balance too much in one direction and have to find your footing again. Your personal balance will be unique, and your challenge will be to stay mentally healthy by keeping that balance.
In 2020, For the 2nd year in a row, FOLA ran a #BellLetsTalk awareness campaign to engage lawyers in talking about mental health and help raise awareness about resources for lawyers.
On Bell Let’s Talk Day,, thanks to your actions, Bell raised $7,719,371.25 for Canadian mental health initiatives!
If you're an empathetic and caring lawyer who has struggled in the past with addiction, mental health, or other serious issues, consider helping colleagues facing similar struggles by volunteering for MAP's confidential Peer Support Program.
The Peer Support Program, an integral part of the Member Assistance Program, offers peer-to-peer support to lawyers. No experience is necessary!
Homewood Health provides all volunteers with on-going training on effective ways to support others in the profession. The program is administrated by People Corporation to ensure the full confidentiality of all client information.
For more information about this volunteer opportunity, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.855.403.8922.
HelpGuide is a nonprofit mental health and wellness website. Their mission is to provide empowering, evidence-based information that you can use to help yourself and your loved ones.
It's 100% ad-free and not for profit.
Want some US and UK mental health stats and resources?
Coronavirus has many people anxious about their personal safety and a number of people are worried about their safety at work as well as the possibility of having to miss work due to sickness. Education is a big part of managing people’s anxiety. Blog post and video by My Workplace Health.
Clear, caring messages from all levels of leadership is helpful in reducing fear and uncertainty in the workplace in the face of public health concerns. Learn the best ways to effectively communicate about coronavirus in the workplace by clicking here.
Workplace Strategies for Mental Health: Dealing with Fear and Anxiety: Daily video tips on taking care of your mental health during the pandemic
Below are some quick tips on leading through the changing environment due to COVID-19:
Leading from a distance: Video
Protecting your team's wellbeing during COVD-19: Video
Leading Through Change: Lessons in Inclusion Through COVID-19: Article
Workplace Strategies for Mental Health: Plan for Resilience: PDF
5 Tips for Remote Working (from the OBA): Article
Understanding mental health in the legal profession - PracticePRO
On Bell Let’s Talk Day 2020, Bell raised
$7,719,371.25 towards mental health initiatives across Canada!
Once again, FOLA ran a month long #BellLetsTalk awareness campaign designed to get lawyers talking about mental health and to direct them to helpful resources.
Thanks to YOU, FOLA increased our Twitter mentions by 631.8%! That's HUGE!
FOLA knows our community could use some help: too many lawyers are struggling - a high rate of lawyers experience some level of problem drinking, depression, and anxiety (according to a study of nearly 13,000 practicing lawyers commissioned by the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation found).
If you are a lawyer and need help, please contact the Law Society's Member Assistance Program.
How can we address the corrosive culture that promulgates incivility, overwork, and alcohol consumption as a badge of honor at the root of the profession’s diversity problem?
In 2017, the American Bar Association's the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being issued a comprehensive report titled The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change in that urged all stakeholders to develop initiatives to change the unhealthy state of affairs.
Many people living with a mental illness (including lawyers and/or their clients) report that negative stereotypes about mental illness, and the resulting potential for discrimination, cause them more suffering - and more often in silence - than the illness itself.
As a result, two thirds of those suffering from mental illness are too afraid to seek the help that they need.
FOLA knows our community could use some help: too many lawyers are struggling - a high rate of lawyers experience some level of problem drinking, depression, and anxiety (according to a study of nearly 13,000 practicing lawyers commissioned by the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation). Self-medicating is not the solution!
But there is help. Talk to your doctor and seek professional help. With medication, and/or and proper self care, most people with mental illnesses are fully treatable. But no one gets better in isolation. Shame and silence makes it worse.
Please join FOLA as we as we work together to break the silence around mental illness.
READ THE 2019 REPORT "CREATING A WELL-BEING MOVEMENT IN THE UTAH LEGAL COMMUNITY" BY THE UTAH TASK FORCE ON LAWYER AND JUDGE WELL-BEING.
If you are a lawyer and need help, please contact:
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH ALL YEAR LONG!
While #BellLetsTalk day lasts for only 24hrs, mental health is an ongoing issue.
Let's keep talking!
Don't have time to create your own tweets? Don't know what to Tweet? Want images to go with those tweets FOLA has you covered!
FOLA has created and curated tweets that you copy and paste, We have #mentalwellness tips, #mentalhealth and #mentalillness facts and myths, images, and more. All geared to lawyers.
Because we think Lawyers need to talk about #mentalhealth too.
*****HAVE IMAGES AND/OR CONTECT TO SHARE? WE MIGHT FEATURE IT HERE. SEND CONTENT SUGGESTIONS TO KATIE AT:
email@example.com and but BLT in the subject line.*****
Fast Fact about #MentalIllness #1: Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
Fast Fact about #MentalIllness #2: In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a #mentalhealth problem or illness #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
Fast Fact about #MentalIllness #3: Mental illness does not discriminate: It affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalHealth Myth #1: #MentalHealth doesn’t affect me. FACT: We all need to take care of our mental health #HealthyMind, #HealthyBody #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalHealth Myth #2: People w/ a #mentalillness never get better. FACT: Treatments are avail & full #recovery is attainable. It may involve more than just drugs; it also may include being socially & physically active #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalHealth Myth #3: #Psychiatric disorders are not true illnesses. FACTS: Unlike a broken leg, #mentalillness can been invisible. They exist in our #brain chemistry and can be diagnosed #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalHealth Myth #4: People w/ a mental illness lack intelligence. FACT: The level of intelligence among people w/ #mentalillness parallels healthy populations #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalHealth Myth #5: People w/ a #mentalillness shouldn’t have jobs. FACT: People w/ mental illness can & do function well in the workplace. With a proper treatment plan, they can thrive as well as anyone else #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalHealth Myth #6. People w/ mental illnesses just can’t handle stress. Fact: #Stress impacts well-being, but this is true for everyone. Taking care of yourself & asking for help are signs of #strength not weakness #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
Looking for an image to add to your tweet? Check out our photo gallery below and then right click on any pic & save for easy sharing!
Want to learn what you can do? Here are some tips.
#MentalWellness Tip: Find Healthy Outlets: In this #video http://bit.ly/2V8I4oP by @OBAlawyers, Dr. Douglas & Dr. Horner by discuss healthy outlets to help you cope #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalWellness Tip: Dealing w/ Chronic Stress: In this #video http://bit.ly/2SeAw1D by @OBAlawyers, Counsellor Rosana Zammit helps you understand what chronic #stress is, why u should care, & what u can do about it #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalWellness Tip: Ask for Help: Talk 2 those close to u about what 2 look 4 at the beginning of a downward depression spiral. Watch this @OBAlawyers #Video: http://bit.ly/2ENDNSH #BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalWellness Tip: Managing expectations: Ideas 2 help u w/ #timemanagement, relationships, demands, expectations & your own emotional needs by @OBAlawyers http://bit.ly/2AgOl91
#MentalWellness Tip: #Depression: Modes of Coping “Different Modes of Coping Can Help Different People Manage Adversity” #Video by @OBAlawyers http://bit.ly/2BHFCwj#BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalWellness Tip: The Perfectionism Trap: Counsellor Rosana Zammit discusses the pros & cons of perfectionism: #Video by @OBAlawyers http://bit.ly/2Ag7cBc#BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalWellness Tip: Managing Demands: #Legal work requires exactitude & critical attention to detail. Self-care can help lawyers do an even better job at work. http://bit.ly/2EL5A5x @OBAlawyers
#MentalWellness Tip: Enjoy the Benefits of Exercise. Just five minutes of activity can boost your mood. #Video by @OBAlawyers http://bit.ly/2LyGWGx#BellLetsTalk @Ont_Law_Assoc
#MentalWellness Tip: #MentalHealth Strategies 4 #Lawyers: Dealing w/ personality factors in the #workplace – the sooner, the better! http://bit.ly/2SdAAPk@OBAlawyers
#MentalWellness Tip: At-Your-Desk Breathing Exercise: Counsellor Rosana Zammit demos a technique 2 help lower #stress levels. #Video by @OBAlawyers http://bit.ly/2SkfhvA
If you are a lawyer and need help, please contact the Law Society's Member Assistance Program.
The words you use can make all the difference. Words can help, but they can also hurt.
Stigma has been around for a long time. knowing the facts and myths about mental illness can be a great way to help end the stigma. Become a stigma buster!
Simple kindness can make a world of difference. Whether it be a smile, being a good listener or an invitation for coffee and a chat, these simple acts of kindness can help open up the conversation and let someone know you are there for them.
Expressions like “You’ll get over it” and “Just relax” can minimize how a person is feeling. Instead offer your support and say “I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well.” Ask what you can do to help.
Mental illness is a very common form of human pain and suffering. Being a good listener and asking how you can help, sometimes just even being there for people you care about, can be the first step in recovery.
Talk about it
Break the silence. Mental illness touches us all in some way directly or through a friend, family member or colleague. Stories of people who have experienced mental health issues and who are doing well can really challenge stereotypes. Most people with mental health issues can and do recover, some just by talking about it.
Other helpful tips
To help you be part of the conversation, the Bell Let’s Talk Conversation Guide was created. It provides information and resources on how you can facilitate a conversation in your community, as well as guidelines on how to have conversations with people you care about and may be concerned about.