I’ve posted before about the stresses and strains of a legal career and the service provided by LAWCARE is not publicised widely enough. Lawcare provide advice and support to lawyers in distress through a network of volunteers and referrals for counselling and other services. Many of their users have substance abuse problems or depression. Just to bring home how essential this service is I’ve quoted a little of the statistical information on the website:
John Hopkins University calculates that alcohol abuse amongst lawyers is double the national average and that 26% of lawyers have used cocaine. Further, whilst 1 in 4 of the general population will suffer from a depressive illness in their lifetime, lawyers suffer such illnesses almost 4 times as frequently as non-lawyers. The rate of suicide amongst lawyers is 6 times that of the general population, with it being, in North America, the third cause of death amongst lawyers, after cancer and heart disease.
Pretty scary stuff. However, I may not be the greatest mathematician in the world but if 1 in 4 members of the general public suffer depressive illness but lawyers suffer four times more frequently doesn’t that mean that ALL lawyers suffer from depression?? Anyway, that minor query and a snidy remark about how they could do with a slight website redesign aside – its a much needed and excellent service. And thanks to whoever put up a poster at Yeovil County Court for reminding me of its existence.