New York State Bar Association Provides Free Counseling, Immediate Support With New Lawyer Assistance Hotline
New York State Bar Association members seeking mental health counseling are entitled to up to four free counseling sessions a year through a new lawyer assistance hotline.
Mental health professionals will answer all hotline calls and refer NYSBA members to free counseling for issues such as depression, anxiety, burnout and alcohol and drug misuse. Members can reach the confidential service 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, by calling 877-772-8835. The service is partly funded through a grant from the New York Bar Foundation.
“It’s wonderful to see that attorneys are now more openly speaking about mental health and substance use concerns,” said T. Andrew Brown, president of the New York State Bar Association. “But we must make sure that it’s not just talk. When lawyers get the support and counseling they need, the legal system operates at its best.”
The hotline was established in response to recommendations made by the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Attorney Well-Being. In its report, “This Is Us: From Striving Alone To Thriving Together,” the task force recommended that the bar association develop a network of clinicians to work with the legal profession.
Data provided by the Centers for Disease Control reveals that prior to COVID-19, 11% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. As of December 2020, that number had risen to a staggering 42% but it could very well be even higher in the legal profession. A 2021 ALM study found that 70% of practicing attorneys who responded reported that their mental health had deteriorated during the pandemic.
About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.
Contact: Susan DeSantis