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The New Mexico Lawyer Assistance Program (NM LAP) has changed its name (formerly Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, JLAP) to distinguish itself from the new Judicial Wellness Program!
The NM LAP will continue its focus on confidential, professional and peer assistance to help individuals identify and address problems with alcohol and other drugs, depression and other mental health/emotional disorders. NM LAP endeavors to improve the well-being of lawyers, law students, paralegals, law clerks and all other legal staff through support, education and early intervention with the goal of ensuring every legal professional is healthy and fit to practice.
New Mexico Judicial Wellness Program (NMJWP) promotes and optimizes health and wellness among New Mexico Judges by creating and facilitating educational programs and offering resources and services which provide a supportive environment for our judiciary to restore and maintain ones overall mental, physical and spiritual health. You can find more information about NMJWP at www.sbnm.org/nmjwp.
October 10 is World Mental Health Day! This year, the American Bar Association's Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the American Bar Association's Law Student Division have partnered to produce a series of short (2 minute) videos from various thought leaders (ABA, professors, law students and others) on mental health topics. The first five of these are now "live" and each day over the next two weeks new content will be released. Today you can hear from ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross, Prof. Angelique EagleWoman of Mitchell Hamline Law School and Professor Rhonda Magee from San Francisco University, among others. Watch now on the ABA website: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_students/resources/mental-health/mental-health-day/. As a State Bar of New Mexico member, you have access to free mental health services through our New Mexico Lawyer Assistance Program www.sbnm.org/NMLAP and New Mexico Judicial Wellness Program www.sbnm.org/nmjwp. Do you need to talk to a specialist about yourself, family member and or someone in the legal field who may be struggling with mental health, substances, drugs, and or alcohol? Please call the Confidential Judges and Lawyers Hotline phone number anytime 24/7. Judges call 505-420-8179 and Lawyers and Law Students 505-228-1948.
The In This Together Fund helps pay for things that legal professionals cannot due to mental or behavioral struggles they are currently experiencing. For example, we have paid, in part or full, for detox, drug tests, rehab, and food. We encourage individuals in recovery that have been helped in this way to give back to the fund as a means of paying it forward. Any you can donate to this fund is much appreciated. As a donation, you can expect to receive a tax donation letter from the New Mexico State Bar Foundation.
Competition, long hours, high expectations, and chronic stress can wear down even the most competent and energetic lawyer, often leading to depression, anxiety, relationship problems, gambling issues, substance abuse, and other problems. A national study conducted in 2015 revealed rates of addiction among members of the legal profession to be three to five times higher than estimated rates in the general population, and the incidence of depression is almost four times greater.
The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is now available for all to access nationwide. This is a milestone moment in this country’s history for suicide prevention, crisis and mental health services everywhere. The Lifeline provides 24/7 all-year-round free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones and best practices for professionals. Visit the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Website.
The State Bar of New Mexico and NM LAP has partnered with The Solutions Group to bring all those who work in the legal community in New Mexico FREE services for themselves and their immediate family members. The Solutions Group offers four free counseling sessions per concern per year with the assurance that any and all information shared is 100% CONFIDENTIAL; nothing shared with any of The Solutions Group's licensed counselors will be shared with NMJLAP nor any other agency/individual without your express written consent.
The N.M. Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 16-803) and the N.M. Code of Judicial Conduct (Rule 21-300) provide strict confidentiality for individuals seeking assistance from the NM LAP. All communications and actions taken by NM LAP with its clients are held in the strictest confidence and are not reported to any individual or entity outside of NMJLAP, including any professional disciplinary agency, without the client’s permission. Likewise, the identities of individuals who contact NM LAP with concerns about a legal professional are confidential and not disclosed to the person referred.
Individuals who suspect misconduct by a lawyer or judge they believe is related to substance abuse may meet their duty to inform the appropriate professional authority by contacting the NM LAP (see Rules 16-803(F) and 21-300(E). When you contact NM LAP you meet your ethical obligation to your colleagues and the public and you initiate the helping process, thereby increasing the likelihood that the individual’s situation will improve and the potential for harm will be reduced. You may call anonymously and with nothing more substantial than a concern - our job is to evaluate if there’s a problem, determine what kind of assistance is needed, and develop an appropriate plan of action. Your degree of involvement in this process will always be self-determined and respected.
It takes courage and integrity to help someone in need.
Do you need to talk to a specialist about yourself, family member and or someone in the legal field who may be struggling with mental health, substances, drugs, and or alcohol? Please call the Confidential Judges and Lawyers Hotline phone number.
24 Hours Every Day
Judges: Call 505-797-6097
Lawyers, Law Students and Legal Professionals: Call 505-420-8179
Free Employee Assistance Program: www.solutionsbiz.com or 505-254-3555