Wellness and LAP

Making it through the tough times

Lawyers encouraged to take advantage of confidential support programs when needed

The legal profession is, for most, an extremely rewarding career. However, at the same time, it can be very demanding. And, occasionally, the pressures of life, career and other factors can become overwhelming.

All BC lawyers have access to confidential support services. Though these services are financially supported by the profession through the Law Society, they are entirely and strictly confidential. Absolutely no personal or identifying information is shared with the Law Society.

Lawyers Assistance Program – funded for and by lawyers

The Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) provides confidential support, counselling, referrals and peer interventions for lawyers, their families, support staff and ­articled students who need help to deal with alcohol or chemical dependencies, stress, depression or other personal problems.

Based on the concept of “lawyers helping lawyers,” LAP relies on a network of volunteers from the BC legal community. The program also provides outreach, support and education services including many workshops, seminars and support group meetings.

For more information, see the program’s website at www.lapbc.com or call 1.888.685.2171 or 604.685.2171. Help is available 24/7.

Employee and family assistance program – counselling and ­referral services

The Law Society funds personal counselling and referral services through PPC ­Canada (Personal Performance Consultants), an organization that has been serving Canada since 1977.

Through a network of counsellors across the country, PPC can help with personal, relationship and family problems, stress management, substance abuse or work-related concerns.

Services are confidential and available at no cost to individual BC lawyers and articled students, as well as their immediate families.

For more information, contact PPC Canada at www.ca.ppcworldwide.com or 1.800.663.9099.

Wellness working group explores additional options

The Law Society remains committed to advancing lawyer wellness and the need to ensure programs are available to assist lawyers with regulatory and workplace changes has been identified in the strategic plan.

To that end, the Practice Standards Committee has established a working group mandated to gather information on current wellness programs, to identify and eliminate barriers to lawyers using wellness programs, and to report back to the Practice Standards Committee with recommendations for the future.

The working group is chaired by Bencher Catherine Sas, QC, who is joined by Bencher Bill Maclagan, Appointed Bencher Peter Lloyd and Paula Cayley, former president of the employee assistance agency Interlock Corporation and a member of the Law Society’s public hearing panel pool.