Missouri Bar creates online community focused on wellness
Lawyers Living Well discussion group open to all Missouri lawyers
Too many lawyers are currently experiencing high levels of stress and forgetting to prioritize their personal well-being. That's why The Missouri Bar has created a new online community for lawyers to discuss self-care, mindfulness and more in a supportive environment of their peers. The Lawyers Living Well discussion group is open to all Missouri lawyers. Sign up is simple, visit the Join a Committee/Discussion Group page and select Lawyers Living Well under "Other Community Opportunities". You will be added to the group and may choose to receive communications in real-time or as a daily digest.
"As lawyers, we are susceptible to feelings of isolation. The unique environment in which we do our work is not easily translated to many of our closest family and friends. Combined with the restrictions placed on our communication by confidentiality and privilege, a large part of our lives is locked away," said John Gunn, 2019-20 Missouri Bar president-elect. "The purpose of this forum is to provide space for members to connect with other lawyers with similar experiences. While the duties of confidentiality and protection of the privilege might still apply, here you have participants that understand the professional obligations and stresses you are encountering."
Missouri lawyers are not alone when it comes to experiencing stress, high rates of depression and substance use according to the 2016 ABA CoLAP and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s study of mental health and substance use disorders among lawyers.
Gunn said stress and feelings of isolation can impact the professional and personal lives of lawyers if not addressed and encourages members to join the group where their peers will listen, leading to supportive connections.
Gunn added the discussion group builds on the many ways The Missouri Bar works to help lawyers by promoting health and wellness among our members and staff. Those efforts include the:
- Missouri Lawyers' Assistance Program (MOLAP) which offers 24/7 free and confidential counseling
- Missouri Lawyers' Assistance Program Annual Conference
- CLE programming at major conferences focused on wellness
- New lifestyle member benefits including fitness discounts
Gunn also noted the collection of well-being resources for the legal profession during COVID-19 on the new Coronavirus Resource Center for Lawyers.