State Bar of Texas Seal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2020
Contact: Amy Starnes
Public Information Director, State Bar of Texas
800-204-2222, ext. 1706, or 512-427-1706
astarnes@texasbar.com

Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program receives grant for
suicide-prevention project

AUSTIN—The Texas Bar Foundation has awarded the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program (TLAP) a $54,000 grant for a comprehensive suicide-prevention project that will include an hour-long educational video, suicide-prevention materials, and a number of statewide training events.

The project—“Stop Minding Your Own Business: What Every Lawyer and Law Student Must Know about Depression and Suicide”—seeks to address a troubling problem. Lawyers are consistently at or near the top of the list of all professionals in suicide rates. Research shows that lawyers are the most often depressed professionals out of 105 professions, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among attorneys after cancer and heart disease. A 2016 landmark study conducted by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs found almost 46% of 13,000 employed attorneys reported suffering from depression during their practices.

TLAP’s project will seek to reduce the number of attorney suicides and increase the well-being and fitness of Texas lawyers and law students by educating them about the symptoms of depression and suicidality as well as how to prevent or address these conditions. In addition to the video, the project will include a written tool kit to educate and help lawyers dealing with depression.

“There is no issue more important to TLAP or the State Bar than preventing lawyer and law student suicides,” said TLAP Director Chris Ritter. “We are very excited to have the means to focus more intensely on this critical issue.”

Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $21 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably funded bar foundation.

The Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program, now in its 30th year, provides confidential help for law students, lawyers, and judges who have problems with substance use and mental health issues. Call 800-343-8527 (TLAP) or text TLAP to 555888 to get help. More information on the program, including many well-being resources, can be found at tlaphelps.org.

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The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @statebaroftexas, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/statebaroftexas, or visit texasbar.com.

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