Mental Health Services for Judges
Judges experience many of the same problems as other members of the legal profession – stress, depression, balancing work and family, alcohol or drug abuse, and compulsive behaviors. However, a judge’s problem is more likely to go unnoticed and untreated because of the insular nature of the judge’s role in the legal system. Judges are frequently reluctant to seek help because of fear, denial, embarrassment – even hopelessness. Above all they are concerned about their problems becoming known and negatively impacting their status and reputation.
LAP Can Help with Judge Burnout and Depression
Judges can call LAP for assistance for themselves and their colleagues. LAP’s free and confidential services, including consultations, assessments, individual and group therapy, referrals and interventions, are available to all Illinois judges at no cost whatsoever. Judges can even call LAP on behalf of family members who need referrals to appropriate treatment resources. Every year LAP receives more calls from judges looking for assistance for themselves or for their colleagues. They know they can come to Lawyers’ Assistance Program with complete assurance of confidentiality and discretion.
What Happens When You Connect with LAP?
MEET WITH A LAP CLINICIAN: LAP will invite you to come into our offices for a consultation and assessment. Because we serve the entire state of Illinois from just two offices, occasionally our clients are geographically too removed for an in person appointment. In such cases, the consultation and assessment will be conducted over the telephone, and the LAP staff will work to find the attorney confidential and affordable services which are geographically convenient.
CONSULTATION AND ASSESSMENT: Your first meeting with a LAP Clinician will most likely involve a series of questions covering your background, your concerns, and your current goals. It will also include information on the range of free and confidential services available through LAP. Based on this conversation, the LAP Clinician will make recommendations. Such recommendations may include, but not be limited to: one of LAP’s therapy groups, individual therapy with one of LAP’s clinicians or a referral to an unaffiliated therapist, referral to a treatment center and/or peer support counseling.
FOLLOW UP: Regardless of the recommendation, you will continue to be a LAP client for as long as you see fit. We will continue to follow up with you whether you make use of our services or choose to seek support somewhere else. You are always welcome to come back to LAP, no matter what has happened or how long it has been since you last contacted us.
Mental Assistance for a Fellow Judge
MEET WITH A LAP CLINICIAN: Let us know over the telephone or in person who you are concerned about and why. We may ask you questions regarding the individual’s habits, whereabouts, and contact information. Any contact you have with LAP, including the fact that you contacted us out of concern for someone else, will remain confidential unless you state otherwise. Your colleague never needs to know that you called us.
CONSULTATION AND ASSESSMENT: LAP will develop an action plan based on the information that you provide. Sometimes this includes reaching out to our LAP Peer Support Volunteers (also strictly obligated by confidentiality) who may also know the individual for more insight on how to best make contact. Other times, one of our clinicians will directly call the individual informing them that a colleague is concerned and inviting them to come see us. Sometimes, an intervention is most appropriate, and a LAP intervention team and action plan is developed.
FOLLOW UP: Regardless of the recommendation, LAP will diligently work to provide the individual of concern the help he needs. You, the caller, are welcome to remain totally anonymous or to reveal your identity at any time. Unless instructed otherwise, your contact with LAP will always remain confidential.