Law School Mental Health Day
October 8, 2020
Law School Mental Health Day is usually celebrated at the Law School with our annual Wellness Fair. We would typically have representatives from Duquesne University present to give our students contact info and resources to have on hand throughout the year, in case the resources are needed.
This year, we can't host an in-person Wellness Fair, but we can still provide the campus resources to have to reference if needed:
Message from Laurie Besden, Esq.:
Dear Amazing Law Students:
The American Bar Association has designated October 8th as Law Student Mental Health Day!
In one form or another, you heard me speak during orientation or during a Professional Responsibility class, on behalf of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania. In case you didn't hear my "story" which includes an insatiable substance use disorder that started in law school that nearly killed me but settled for my freedom, here is a link to my story.
As the Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, I can tell you, hands down, this organization unequivocally saved my life.
LCL assists law students who may be struggling with anything from stress, anxiety, isolation, gambling, an eating disorder, a substance use disorder, and any other mental health issue impacting your life. We are a peer-based organization and all of our volunteers have walked through some type of difficulty and darkness and made it through to the other side; we want to give back and pay it forward.
It is a very stressful time for all of you. You have experienced trauma and grief in a way that no other law students have in history. We all respond differently to trauma; you cannot compare yourself to others. We crave connection, yet we are isolated. We care. We understand. We are here to support you. We are 100% CONFIDENTIAL, SAFE, FREE, and SUPPORTIVE. You can remain absolutely anonymous when you call us and receive all of our supportive services.
Our brochure outlines all of our services. It has never been easier to seek support, as we offer telehealth providers and we pay for the first session. We have a myriad of free literature and a wealth of information on our website. If you are a person in or seeking recovery, we have 13 lawyer/law student recovery meetings across the Commonwealth; it has never been easier to attend, as they are all offering a Zoom/virtual attendance option (see attachment containing zoom/meeting information). If you are concerned about a classmate, please call us. We will help you navigate a conversation with your classmate with the best possible outcome. If you are concerned about another student but you aren't comfortable being involved in a conversation with them about your concerns, please call us. Give us the opportunity to assist someone that may be struggling. You will remain completely anonymous. We are members of a self-regulating profession, and we must look after each other. Your call may literally save a life.
Please take a moment to peruse our fantastic COVID resource guide on our website that contains hundreds of relevant and free professional, academic, mental health, wellness and substance use recovery resources and tips to get through this most difficult time.
We do not report to your law school or the Board of Law Examiners. We are also 24/7/365 (888-999-1941). We are a SAFE call.
Many people are struggling in silence. I was one of them. Please have the courage to reach out to us (or me) for support. Asking for help is a sign of strength and demonstrates incredible wisdom.
I will have a designated day to host student hours via Zoom or in-person at each school this semester, but please DO NOT wait for the email from your Dean if you are struggling. Email me and we can schedule a session immediately. You are worth it. You do matter. You aren't alone.
In closing, one of LCL's Board Members was interviewed by 6ABC regarding the suicide of his beautiful son, Peter. I am sharing this incredibly moving piece as it is so important to reach out for help if you are struggling. https://6abc.com/6767933/
You can find a comprehensive list of online mental health, recovery and professional resources related to COVID-19 as well as 9 free CLE-eligible videos on our website!