13:44 PM

September honors National Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month

by Anne Chambers, LCSW

September is time to honor two important occasions: National Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. Lawyers have above average rates of substance concerns, depression and suicide. In a 2015 study by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, one in five lawyers screened positive for risky drinking28% reported depression, 19% reported anxiety and 23% reported stress.  

National Recovery Month celebrates all those in recovery and raises awareness that treatment for substance and mental health conditions can help Americans live rich and rewarding lives. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence estimates there are now over 23 million Americans living in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. There is much to celebrate. Recovery Month resources are available at facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/. Interested in learning more about the power of recovery? Check out the inspiring Voices of Recovery Series at hamericanbar.org/groups/lawyer_assistance/events_cle/voices_of_recovery_podcast_series/.  

Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month raises awareness about suicide and its prevention. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, costing over 48,000 lives in 2018. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 is available 24/7 to anyone who is strugglingTheir website resources for those in crisis, loved ones, attempt survivors, loss survivors and treatment professionals are available at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. 

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has resources for anyone who is wants to learn about prevention or make a difference. The foundation’s memory walks and special events are a source of support and healing. Their website at afsp.org/ offers suggestions on ways each of us can raise awareness and help this cause. 

Ways to honor National Recovery Month or National Suicide Prevention Month:  

  • Pick up your phone and reach out for support.  

  • Check in with someone who has been on your mind.  

  • Teach your children about the importance of self-care.   

  • Join the Lawyers Living Well discussion board on connect.mobar.org/home.   

Substance and other mental health concerns are treatable. For confidential screening, call the Missouri Lawyers’ Assistance Program at 1- 800-688-7859 to talk now or get the link for a face-to-face session on our new virtual platform. MOLAP is a free, confidential counseling program that serves lawyers, judges, law students and immediate family members.