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Home Blog Supporting the mental well-being of legal professionals: The Treasurer’s personal challenge
Supporting the mental well-being of legal professionals: The Treasurer’s personal challenge

Supporting the mental well-being of legal professionals: The Treasurer’s personal challenge

By: Teresa Donnelly, Treasurer | August 03, 2021

If you’re a frequent reader of the Gazette, you may notice that this is the third blog I’ve written about mental health this year. Shining a light on well-being in the legal community and supporting those experiencing mental health challenges is part of my personal mandate as Treasurer, and the need for ongoing discussion is perhaps more timely than ever. The past 18 months or so have been like no other in our recent history. Collectively, across the province and the globe, we’ve been asked to be flexible, to pivot and to accept new challenges; all without the support systems so many rely on. I have heard personally from licensees about how demanding this time has been.

That’s why I have championed the National Well-being Study and have made it a personal challenge to encourage as many eligible licensees as possible to participate. Every response matters and gets us closer to the goal of better understanding and support of mental health in the professions.

The deadline to complete the study questionnaire has now been extended to August 30, in part due to a low response rate in Ontario. Right now, in Ontario, just over three per cent of eligible licensees, articling candidates and experiential learning candidates have completed the study. Despite having the largest licensee base in the country, Ontario has a lower response rate than many other law societies. To ensure there is enough data collected to render meaningful findings and make evidence-based recommendations, researchers need, at minimum, a five per cent response rate. 

I know we can get there and I’m calling on each of you for help. I implore every eligible lawyer, paralegal, articling and experiential learning candidate to please complete your own study and to use your own platforms - whether that be social media or a long awaited catch-up on a patio - to encourage other legal professionals to do the same. I truly do believe that together, we can help break the stigma around mental illness and pave the way to better understanding and care for those facing mental health challenges. Completing your anonymous and confidential study questionnaire is a first step.

Read the Treasurer’s June 14 blog about the National Well-being Study of legal professionals
Read the Treasurer’s April 29 blog about fostering wellness and mental health during the pandemic

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