A 2016 study by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association suggests that 1 in 5 lawyers are problem drinkers, and nearly the same amount suffer from depression, anxiety, and stress. Additionally, a 2021 study shows that when compared to the general population, lawyers are “significantly more likely to report suicidal ideation” and are more likely to experience general symptoms of depression.
As the Hazelden/ABA study concludes, this data emphasizes “the need for greater resources for lawyer assistance programs,” as well as “the expansion of available attorney-specific prevention and treatment interventions.”
The Utah State Bar and the Well-being Committee have various well-being resources available to legal professional and legal employers. These include Lawyer’s Helping Lawyers, access to mental health services through Blomquist Hale, and various resources provided by the Well-Being Committee for the Legal Profession.
For those on the fence about whether well-being programs are important to the legal profession, economic studies show that “happier” employees are significantly more productive. In a profession driven by productivity and the billable hour, legal employers should recognize that well-being measures are not only the right thing to do for their employees, but are also in the best interest of their economic shareholders.
The Well-being Blog is a collaborative effort between members of the Utah State Bar's Well-Being Committee for the Legal Profession and others who are committed to improving the health, well-being, and professional success of Utah Legal professionals.