This article was originally published in the Inter Alia, a publication by the Manatee County Bar Association, May 2018. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved.
The Florida Bar has partnered with the Young Lawyers Division to designate the month of May as “Health and Wellness Month” for Florida lawyers. This past year, the Bar has had an unprecedented level of focus and commitment to health and wellness issues. In 2016, a study sponsored by the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation surveyed nearly 13,000 currently practicing attorneys and found that up to 36 percent of lawyers qualify as problem drinkers, approximately 28 percent of lawyers are struggling with some level of depression, 19 percent are struggling with anxiety, and younger lawyers in their first 10 years of practice experience the highest rates of problem drinking and depression. These numbers represent a significant shift from earlier research.