Mediator & Arbitrator Bianca Motley Broom Weighs in on Law & Mental Health
I know the positive impact mental health treatment has made in my own life.
I was dealing with anxiety at my job. Eventually I became paralyzed by it, not even sure which fire to put out first. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was uncharacteristically irritable and quick to anger. Although I initially resisted seeking assistance, my husband urged me to reach out. He saw I was losing my spark and having trouble focusing on anything other than work. It impacted our home life and I wasn’t as effective in my practice. When I did talk to my therapist, I didn’t solve all of my problems in one session. But it was such a relief to know I wasn’t alone. Eventually, I was able to get the tools I needed to properly address my anxiety and move past the situation.
While we accept we are not specialists in all areas of the law, some of us tend to think we have to have all of the answers within us when it comes to mental health. There should not be any shame in seeking professional help to improve our personal and professional lives.
It’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about spreading the word about the mental health resources available to attorneys. Our two-part podcast is part of Miles Mediation & Arbitration’s efforts to shed light on an all-too common problem in our profession. We have to fight against the idea that lawyers are somehow superhuman and don’t struggle with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. The statistics, in fact, tell us the exact opposite – we are more susceptible to these conditions than the general public.
The good news is we have champions in our profession who are working to bridge the gap. You’ll hear from some of them in these podcasts. The State Bar of Georgia, under the leadership of Robin Frazer Clark, developed a suicide prevention program to serve as a resource for attorneys facing issues of any kind – not just those related to work. ALM, the parent company of the Daily Report, recently started a series about mental health issues in the profession, and how lawyers who have sought treatment have thrived afterward.
Help is available, but the first step is often the hardest. Miles is committed to being part of the solution and is proud to be able to present this series.