16:03 PM

Well-being Week in Law: Your best work starts with you

Today marks the start of Well-Being Week in Law, a national observation aimed at raising awareness of mental health and encouraging action and innovation across the profession to improve well-being.  

Missouri lawyers are not alone when it comes to experiencing stress, high rates of depression, and substance use. While these challenges have become somewhat normalized in the legal industry, they do not have to be the standard.  

Fortunately for those working in the justice system, there has been a national movement toward an increased focus on the well-being of lawyers and others with whom we regularly work. It has been The Missouri Bar’s good fortune to enter this discussion with consensus and dedication. The bar’s newly created Lawyers Living Well Special Committee, chaired by Athena Dickson of Kansas City, and vice-chaired by Erica Mynarich of Springfield, and Whittney Dunn of St. Louis, is considering unique ways to address wellness within the purviews of stigma, education, and policy.  

The judges and lawyers involved in this project are engaged for the best of reasons: solely to help others. And this week’s activities are just the start of the reach of this special committee.  

Throughout the week, The Missouri Bar will be sharing social media content related to wellness that falls under the categories of:  

  • physical well-being;  
  • spiritual well-being;  
  • occupational and intellectual well-being;  
  • social well-being; and  
  • emotional well-being.  

Learn more about these pillars of wellness here.  

The Missouri Lawyers’ Assistance Program will also be offering free depression screenings May 3, substance screenings May 5, and stress management consultations May 6. All services through the Missouri Lawyers’ Assistance Program are free and confidential. They may be accessed by calling 1-800-688-7859 or visiting MoBar.org/MOLAP. 

To follow along and join the conversation during Well-Being Week in Law, look for posts with #MOLawyers, #MentalHealthMatters, and #WellbeingWeekInLaw.  

But your focus on your well-being should not end with the week. A great way to stay connected and inspired is through the bar’s online community for lawyers where you can discuss self-care, mindfulness, and more in a supportive environment of your 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.  

No matter what stage you are at in your personal wellness journey, The Missouri Bar is here to help!

Please take care of yourselves and each other,

John Gunn
2020-21 Missouri Bar President