(Photo credit: http://www.justicehaque.org/mental-health-rights-in-india/)
It is no secret that lawyers suffer from far greater rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse than non-lawyers. Law students are no exception. In 2014, a study led by the McGill Law Student Well-being Committee revealed that approximately 40% of Law student participants had experienced depression and that more than 7 out of 10 students felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and anxious during their last year of Law school.
In collaboration with a team of organizational psychologists, McGill Law’s Healthy Legal Minds (HLM)– a student-born initiative that aims to destigmatize mental health in the legal profession– has launched its own scientific survey this Winter 2017 term. All McGill Law students are invited to take the anonymous French/English survey, which ends on February 17, 2017. If it reaches at least a 60% participation rate, HLM, the LSA, and members of the McGill Law administration will have the necessary data to make decisions on how to invest in the overall mental health of its students.
LegalEase’s Emma Noradounkian sat down with HLM co-directors Shannon Snow and Benjamin Brunot, who discussed the creative process of the survey, why law students and legal professionals disproportionately experience mental health challenges, and how students can support their peers in times of distress.
Thank you to Shannon and Benjamin for having granted LegalEase this interview and to all others involved for heading the way towards student wellness at our Faculty.