Many Lawyers are Struggling with Mental Health and Substance Use During the Pandemic – Help is Available

Written Friday, October 9, 2020 by Dr. Traci Cipriano, Co-chair of the Lawyer Well-Being Committee

A few weeks ago, The CBA Docket’s Be Well feature addressed the impact of the pandemic on mental health and substance use—specifically the increase in depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicidal ideation—in the general population, based on CDC data.  Here in Connecticut, we know lawyers are struggling as well. 

Beth D. Griffin, executive director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers-Connecticut Inc. (LCL), reports LCL is “seeing an increase in all categories across the board.” Consistent with general population data, “people who have had years of good recovery are faltering, new people are showing up with possible substance use disorders that may or may not be attributable to the isolation of quarantine.”  In general, LCL is seeing an unprecedented number of calls related to a wide array of mental health concerns. 

If you are struggling, do not hesitate to reach out for help.  The LCL mental health program offers six (6) sessions every calendar year—confidential and “off the grid”, at no cost to the individual.  LCL will ask you a few questions about your preferences (i.e., male or female therapist, geographic area preferences, and transportation options) and then will provide you with the name of a community provider in the LCL network; you can then make an appointment. No insurance is involved in the billing of these 6 sessions. The provider will then bill LCL directly. All you need to do is show up.