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Help yourselves and others: Missouri Bar offers suicide prevention training, resources

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Suicide and depression are sadly not rare among lawyers. A recent American Bar Association survey of lawyers and staff at firms found 1 in 5 of the respondents had contemplated suicide at one point during their professional careers.

I will never forget the day I got the call that one of my dear friends and fellow Missouri lawyer had taken his life. I am still reeling from the death of one of my colleagues – also a Missouri lawyer – by suicide. Both were deeply loved, and they are deeply missed.

This month, we are especially focused on raising awareness and providing you with resources to help yourselves and others. I invite you to join us in this effort. 

The Lawyers Living Well Special Committee has arranged for a no-cost, virtual CLE on Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. This presentation, titled Lawyer Suicides: Reducing the risk by recognizing the signs, will explain how to both recognize and support fellow lawyers during a suicide crisis. I urge you to attend and invite others.

Lawyers and law students, along with their families and friends, are also invited to join or support one of three lawyer-led teams participating in Out of the Darkness Walks across the state. The walks, held to offer support and bring hope, will take place Sept. 25 in St. Louis; Oct. 1 in Kansas City; and Oct. 16 in Columbia.

In addition, Anne Chambers, director of the Missouri Lawyers’ Assistance Program, will be offering no-cost QPR trainings on Sept. 26, 29, and 30. QPR, which stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer, teaches simple, practical, and proven steps anyone can take to respond to someone in crisis, and it can save lives. It is the most widely taught suicide prevention gatekeeper training in the world. Trainings are approved for up to 1.6 hours of MCLE credit, including ethics.

Each one of you is important, valued, and makes Missouri a better place to be. 

Please take care of yourselves and each other,

Lauren Tucker McCubbin
Missouri Bar President-Elect

If you are currently in a crisis, please call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

The Missouri Lawyers’ Assistance Program offers free, 24/7 confidential counseling for lawyers, judges, and law students, along with their immediate family members. Call 1-800-688-7859 or visit MoBar.org/MOLAP.