The rigors of law school are undisputable. A law student is always competing with their peers for a better position in extracurricular activities, class rank, internships, post-graduation, and job opportunities. Law students have to excel at public speaking and need an entirely different set of writing skills. They have to manage the pressure of acing their final exams, bar exam, while trying to keep up their social circle and relationships. All this adds to the pressure they already face, affecting their mental health
During recent years, counseling centers at colleges have seen an alarming increase in the number of students seeking help for mental health problems. Students are burdened with various issues like student loans, study pressures, and finding a job amongst others. Law schools are known for their demanding and rigorous coursework and thus the ensuing pressure. In fact, law has also been identified as one of the most depressed and stressful occupation.
Surveys and studies
In 2018, Harvard Law School started an annual mental health survey that paved the way for other law schools to document mental health issues in their campuses as well. According to the Harvard Crimson, the college daily, the survey presented a scary glimpse of the reality. Out of the 886 participants of the survey, 25 percent admitted to suffering from depression. For contextual references, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that 7.1 percent Americans aged 18 and above suffer from at least one major depressive episode. Further, 24 percent of law students suffered from anxiety whereas nearly 21 percent confessed to be at a heightened risk of committing suicide.
Another survey of 300 law students was conducted by Kaplan Bar Review to determine if the recent law school graduates thought that their school addressed issues related to mental health. The survey revealed that a staggering 40 percent of the respondents did not think that their law colleges did enough to help its students dealing with mental health problems. While 29 percent agreed to their colleges doing enough to help its students, 31 percent replied that they did not know much about their college’s policies. The survey also found out that most of the students majorly disagreed with two of the controversial questions that most state bar examiners currently ask on bar exam applications:
- Whether the applicant has received treatment for mental health illness
- Whether the applicant has received addiction treatment
Adding fuel to the fire, another survey conducted by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs revealed that 28 percent of employed and licensed lawyers suffered from symptoms of depression while 23 percent have stress problems and 19 percent have anxiety-related issues. Further, a shocking 21 to 36 percent were found to be suffering from drinking difficulties.
Vice president of Kaplan Bar Review, Tammi Rice, said that the findings have indicated that law schools and colleges need to provide better services for self-care and make the students aware of how to available these services are. She said that the society, especially those in the legal world, need to overcome the social stigma associated with mental health illnesses. She went on to add that May is a tough month for law graduates for they have to start their preparation for the bar exam in July. Therefore, law schools need to be extra careful during this time and reach out to as many students as possible.
Seeking treatment for mental health
Mental illnesses are common with 1 in every 5 individual’s living with some form of mental illness. However, the stigma attached to mental health disorders does not allow people to accept their problems and seek treatment. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report, approximately 46.6 million people aged 18 and above suffered from a mental health disorder in the U.S.
If you or a loved one is also battling a mental health disorder and is looking for a licensed 24/7 mental health treatment facility, get in touch with the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline. Call our 24/7 helpline 855-653-8178 and speak with a representative who can guide you with complete information about state-of-the-art 24/7 mental health treatment centers around you. Enrolling in a mental health treatment program best suited to your needs would allow you to seek the happiness you deserve. You can also chat online for further assistance.