High levels of stress are one of the realities of practicing law. In addition to work stress, parents and women in particular can experience high stress levels because of the demands of home life. A number of recent articles have talked about the greater “mental load” women generally carry. We are commonly the ones responsible for scheduling our kids’ activities, remembering to plan the birthday parties and who has a field trip form due. The stresses of practicing law, combined with the demands of home life can feel overwhelming for anyone.
Feeling stress may be a reality of life, but when it begins to interfere with your ability to handle the demands of your practice or your home life, it can quickly become a big problem. At LAWPRO, a number of the claims that we see have, on some level, stress as a contributing factor. Stress, and the demands on everyone’s time, can contribute to deadlines being missed, communication errors, or other practice management issues.
Before I joined LAWPRO, I did not know about the Law Society’s Member’s Assistance Program (MAP).
The MAP provides free confidential assistance to Ontario lawyers, paralegals, judges, students at Ontario law schools and accredited paralegal colleges, licensing-process candidates, and their families. The MAPis operated by Homewood Health and receives financial, arm’s-length support from both the Law Society and LAWPRO. You do not need a referral and the services are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Many lawyers are fortunate to have access to an Employee Assistance Program through their work benefits plan. However, if you don’t feel comfortable using your work benefits, or you want to understand more about the resources that are available to you, I would encourage you to learn more about the MAP at myassistplan.com.