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"Help" is Not a Four-Letter Word: Overcoming Stigma

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 90 minutes
Recorded Date: May 15, 2019
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  • Overview of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Rates
  • Defining Stigma and it's Relationship to Help-Seeking Behavior
  • Strategies for Reducing Stigma
  • Initiatives to Overcome Stigma in the Legal Profession
  • Encouraging Help-Seeking Behavior
Runtime: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Recorded: May 15, 2019


Do you know how widespread mental illness and substance use disorders are in the legal profession? We think you'll be surprised by this broad discussion about how they became so pervasive in the industry. This program will give you background information as well as practical advice on how to help eradicate the stigma of mental illness and substance use disorders in order to make the legal community a healthier one.

Substance use disorders and mental illness can affect any attorney regardless of gender, culture, ethnicity, age, or socioeconomic status. But no matter what their background, too many attorneys dealing with these issues suffer in silence. Why? Stigma – cultural prejudice and discrimination that labels an individual suffering from such illnesses as defective, or weak, often has more damaging consequences than the illness itself and creates a barrier to treatment.

This panel will define the stigma, explain the reasons why stigma is so pervasive in the legal profession, and why it is critical to overcome these beliefs. The program will focus on several different “life stages” of an attorney - law student, practicing lawyer, and judge, as well as the unique challenge faced by underrepresented minorities and how stigma affects each group. The panel will also identify practical and applicable ways to conquer stigma in the legal community and the regulatory process.

This program was recorded on May 15th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Hon. David Shaheed

Associate Professor and Retired Judge
IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs

David Shaheed became the judge in Civil Court 1 in August, 2007. Prior to this assignment, Shaheed presided over Criminal Court 14, the Drug Treatment Diversion Court and Reentry Court. The Indiana Correctional Association chose Shaheed as 2007 Judge of the Year for his work with ex-offenders and defendants trying to recover from substance abuse.

Shaheed was a judicial officer in the Marion County Superior Court beginning in1994 starting as a master commissioner and being appointed judge by Governor Frank O’Bannon in September 1999. Shaheed has also worked as an attorney for the State of Indiana and a chief administrative law judge.

Shaheed was on the board of directors for Seeds of Hope, (a shelter for women in recovery), former vice-president of the Indiana Juvenile Justice Task and President of the Interfaith Alliance of Indianapolis and current board member of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation.

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Jonathan Beitner

Attorney, Certified Coach
Well-Being Advocate

Jonathan Beitner is an attorney, certified coach, and frequent speaker on topics related to attorney development and well-being. Jonathan helps attorneys identify and achieve their professional and personal goals and works with firms, law schools, and bar associations to help lawyers be more productive, happier, and healthier.

As a co-creator of the ABA's Well-Being Pledge, the former President of the Illinois Lawyers' Assistance Program's Associate Board, and Chair of the Chicago Bar Association's Wellness and Mindfulness Committees, Jonathan has taken a leadership role in attorney well-being initiatives at the city, state, and national levels.

Jonathan previously practiced as a commercial litigator at Jenner & Block LLP for over six years and clerked for two federal judges after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as a Contributing Editor for the Michigan Law Review.

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Daniel T. Lukasik

Of Counsel
Maxwell Murphy, LLP

Dan is the Attorney of Counsel at Maxwell Murphy, LLC.

Dan graduated from Buffalo State College with a degree in psychology, magna cum laude, in 1984, and the University at Buffalo School of Law, cum laude, in 1988.

Dan’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, AARP magazine, The National Law Journal, The Huffington Post, Esperanza magazine, on CNN, and many other national and international publications. Click here for a complete list. He has lectured around the country on the topics of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Dan is the Executive Producer for of the original documentary, “A Terrible Melancholy: Depression in the Legal Profession,” which has been viewed by mental health organizations, colleges, and universities around the country. He was the recipient of Roger Stone Public Advocacy Award from the Mental Health Association of Erie County, the Spirit Award from Compeer, an organization dedicated to pairing mentors with people struggling with mental illness, the Public Service Merit Award from the New York State Bar Association, and The Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service from his law school alma mater for his work in assisting those with depression in his community.

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Terry Harrell

Executive Director - Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program
American Bar Association

Terry Harrell completed her law degree at Maurer School of Law and her Master of Social Work Degree (MSW) at Indiana University. Terry is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor (LCAC) in Indiana, and has a nationally recognized Master Addictions Counselor certification from NAADAC. She has worked in a variety of areas including inpatient treatment, crisis services, adult outpatient treatment, wrap around services for severely emotionally disturbed adolescents, and management.

Terry has been with the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP) since 2000 and became the Executive Director in 2002. Locally, Terry is active with the Indiana State Bar Association and in August 2014 she became the first LAP Director to be appointed Chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs.

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