RESOURCES FOR JUDGES
SELECTED RESOURCES FOR JUDGES ON MENTAL HEALTH,
SUBSTANCE MISUSE, COMPULSIVE BEHAVIORS, AND COMPASSION FATIGUE
Joan Bibelhausen, Minnesota Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers
Email Joan here.
Joan Bibelhausen is Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers in Minnesota. She is a member of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Judicial Resource Committee and an author of the recently published article, Stress and Resiliency in the U.S. Judiciary, available at https://mnlcl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/journal-of-the-professional-lawyer-2020.pdf .
Stress and Resiliency Survey and Findings
Stress and Resiliency in the U.S. Judiciary, Swenson, Bibelhausen, et al, ABA Journal of the Professional Lawyer, 2020, available at https://mnlcl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/journal-of-the-professional-lawyer-2020.pdf. Judicial Stress and Resiliency Survey COVID-19 Update, Swenson, Yetter, Court Review, Volume 57 available at https://amjudges.org/publications/courtrv/cr57-1/CR57-1Yetter.pdf.
The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Judicial Resource Committee maintains a confidential hotline for judges. A network of volunteer judges from across the country is available to serve as a resource for judges who prefer to seek help outside of their jurisdiction. Call 1-800-219-6474 to be connected. Information about the work of the Committee is at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/lawyer_assistance/articles_and_info/resources_for_judges/. This site also includes many articles about judicial stress and well-being.
Resources for Judges
Various judicial organizations have covered wellness in their professional journals. Some are available only to members.
National Center for State Courts
The NCSC has developed a judicial stress resource guide.
Judicial Family Institute
The JFI is a committee of the Conference of Chief Justices. Their goal is to provide information and education on topics of concern and importance to judicial households and their extended family members.
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) supports lawyer assistance efforts across the country. This includes conducting and supporting research.
A 2016 ABA CoLAP and Hazelden Betty Ford joint study provides updated information on substance use, mental health and help seeking behaviors. Krill, Patrick, Johnson, Ryan, Albert, Linda, “The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys,” Journal of Addiction Medicine: Jan./Feb. 2016. https://journals.lww.com/journaladdictionmedicine/Fulltext/2016/02000/The_Prevalence_of_Substance_Use_and_Other_Mental.8.aspx.
“The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change,” is a follow-up report that offers strategies and guidance for multiple stakeholders on changing the culture of the legal profession.
The impact of well-being on ethics and professionalism is one of three reasons that the report calls for action. A toolkit with suggested strategies and exercises may be found at https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/lawyer_assistance/ls_colap_well-being_toolkit_for_lawyers_legal_employers.pdf.
Numerous articles are linked at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/lawyer_assistance/ for lawyer assistance resources and information across the country.
Lawyers and Judges Assistance Programs
Lawyer and Judges Assistance Programs (LAPs) are available nationwide. Some are independent, some are under the auspices of the court, and some are part of the bar association. They are listed at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/lawyer_assistance/resources/lap_programs_by_state/.
Lawyers with Depression
This comprehensive website, founded by a lawyer, offers support and resources.
Lawyers Depression Project
The Lawyers Depression Project is a group of legal professionals (attorneys, paralegals, law students, and admin) who have suffered from depression, anxiety, bipolar, OCD, eating disorders, trauma, sexual abuse, addiction, and other mental health conditions, or who just don’t feel quite right.
Mindfulness on the Bench
This article appears in an issue of the Florida Bar Journal devoted to mindfulness.
Court Review Journal
Court Review, Vol.54 No. 2 (2018), a publication of the American Judges Association, includes important articles on Judges’ Well-Being.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) [clearinghouse for alcohol and drug information]
This federal agency has a great deal of information for individuals seeking help, professionals in the helping professions, and researchers.
SAMHSA sponsors this annual event held every September. It features events and resources for those with substance use issues and those who care about them.
American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
Public Policy Statement: Definition of Addiction – https://www.asam.org/Quality-Science/definition-of-addiction
The site also includes short and extended statements as well as frequently asked questions.
Mayo Clinic Stress Management Resources
American Psychological Association
Numerous resources on many mental health and wellness topics.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI has information on a wide variety of mental illnesses including ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, Depression, Eating Disorders, OCD, PTSD and others. There are also national and local support resources for individuals facing mental health issues and those who care about them.
https://www.nami.org/. The Minnesota NAMI chapter website is https://namimn.org
National Institute of Mental Health
Information regarding various mental health issues, including anxiety disorders and depression.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
This division of the National Institutes of Health provides information on the science of drug and alcohol addiction. There are links to a wide variety of substances. An excellent pamphlet, The Science of Addiction, is available by mail or as a PDF, in English or Spanish.
Trauma and Compassion Fatigue Materials
American Bar Association – provides general information and links to additional resources.
“Judges [and Lawyers], Compassion Fatigue, and Tools to Respond Effectively” by Dan DeFoe.
The Toll of Trauma
The Wisconsin LAP completed a study on compassion fatigue for public defenders. Many of the same concerns arise with judges. An article may be found at https://www.wisbar.org/newspublications/wisconsinlawyer/pages/article.aspx?volume=84&issue=12&articleid=2356
University of Minnesota School of Social Work
This special issue on trauma in the child welfare arena includes an article by Judge Kathryn Quaintance on ‘The Judicial Perspective on Secondary Trauma in Child Welfare.”
Self-Test for Compassion Fatigue
Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project
Vicarious Trauma in Attorneys (Levin, Greisberg, 2003)
One of the earliest articles on this phenomenon and is cited in most other studies.
“Stress, Burnout, Vicarious Trauma, and Other. Emotional Realities in the Lawyer/Client Relationship” documents a 2004 panel discussion on the topic.
“Vicarious Trauma in Judges: The Personal Challenge of Dispensing Justice” is based on a 2002 study.
“Vicarious Trauma: The Silent Stressor” discusses the effects of trauma on court personnel.
Online Resources – the following sites will direct you to other resources.
https://namimn.org/support/ Frequently updated list of Minnesota support groups
https//aaminneapolis.org/ – includes links to St. Paul and greater Minnesota sites
https://womenforsobriety.org/ – includes online chat
http://aaonline.org/ is one example of online AA meetings
https://www.smartrecovery.org/ SMART Recovery
https://saa-recovery.org/meetings/united-states/?state=MN Sex Addicts Anonymous
https://recovered.org/ Recovered.org (formerly the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence)
https://www.usnodrugs.com/ US No Drugs features a searchable directory of treatment centers and a glossary of common terms used in addiction research, reports, and treatment.
https://addictionblog.org/ General information on addiction sponsored by the American Addiction Centers