Reed Smith counsel Mark Goldstein wasn’t sure he could both be a lawyer and have mental health disabilities. But he learned how to survive and thrive in Big Law. …Roughly six weeks earlier, I had been diagnosed with severe depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety. I felt scared. Ashamed. Crippled. As if I was going to die. Perhaps most of all, I felt alone, particularly in a profession that often stigmatizes mental health disorders. A profession that tends to label them, instead, as “burnout,” or sweep them under the rug. Click here to continue reading this commentary by Mark S Goldstein on Law.com.
A group of lawyers at international law firm Dentons have reported a decrease in their stress levels after completing a new mindfulness scheme. Around 60 people across the firm’s European offices took part in the two-month NextMind programme, which teaches participants about the neuroscientific and psychological aspects of stress, the culture of perfectionism and cognitive bias. Click here to continue reading this blog post at LawCareers.net.
Penn Law will launch a pilot program this spring to integrate sessions on attorney well-being into mandatory coursework, making it the first top-ranked law school in the country to do so. In 2017, the American Bar Association reported high levels of stress, depression, and substance abuse among practicing lawyers. In response to the report, Penn Law developed the program on the importance of attorney mental health. Click here to continue reading this article by Ashley Ahn for the Daily Pennsylvanian.
When you stop and actually look at things with some clarity, you begin to see how things are interconnected, how we are all connected to each other, how institutions, if they’re going to function at a high level, need to be interconnected, and we need to help those institutions reinvent themselves on that universal principle. That’s where mindfulness really comes into play, as it allows you to see how things are and need to be connected, as opposed to the silos in which we see things today. Click here to read the full article by Channing Sargent for the LA Review of Books.
…when we think about what really safe communities look like, they’re not safe because they’re very heavily policed, and the courts are really throwing the book at people who get into trouble and come into serious conflict with the law and hurt other people. Communities are made safe because of a whole web of social relationships that are in the family, at the workplace, in community organizations, and faith organizations. Community life on the street has, what Jane Jacobs described, as “eyes on the streets.” Community residents know their fellow denizens, and all of this creates webs of mutual obligation and informal social control. It regularizes behavior. It provides guardianship, particularly... Learn More
September was Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a designated time to acknowledge that this tragedy claims the lives of tens of thousands, including police officers. But we need to be aware of it year round. Officers face challenges unlike those in most occupations. They don’t often get the support they need to cope with emotional problems or trauma, which they may experience any day on the job. Untreated, the stress they experience can trigger serious mental, physical and performance-related consequences, including hopelessness, a prime indicator of suicide. Click here to continue reading this blog post by the Office of Justice Programs.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Sunday signed a series of bills aimed at overhauling the state’s juvenile justice system, reforms that advocates say will further their efforts to rehabilitate minors who commit crimes early in life. A wave of legislation has swept through legislatures, including in deep-red states like Oklahoma, Mississippi and Texas, that were once firmly committed to a tough-on-crime, incarceration-first approach to public safety. Click here to continue reading this article by Reid Wilson for The Hill.
The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being has raised strong concerns about the poor state of the mental health and well-being of lawyers and law students across the country. The co-chairs of the Task Force concluded that recent studies’ findings of professional ill health and lack of well-being were incompatible with a sustainable legal profession and raised troubling implications for many lawyers’ basic competence. This Article takes an in-depth look at the relevance of mindfulness for the legal profession and legal education and offers mindfulness as one way to begin to respond effectively to the Task Force’s concerns. Click here to read the article by Charity Scott in the Arizona... Learn More
Since I started practising mindfulness in 2013, I’ve noticed that I’m calmer and more likely to feel compassionate towards victims, witnesses and even offenders. I think that has implications for evidence-gathering, crime detection, victim satisfaction and community relations. Click here to read this case study from the Mindfulness Initiative.
Speaking about the forthcoming event, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “As mental health is becoming more of a priority issue for governments and policy makers, this conference will share experiences of mindfulness programmes nationally and internationally with a view to developing best practice and informing policy. “Through research and a range of activities on our campuses, we are exploring how mindfulness contributes to improved wellbeing in our society. Click here to continue reading this article by Micheál Ó Maoileoin for the Galway Daily.