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Just Ask: How We Must Stop Minding Our Own Business in the Legal World: Depression and Suicide Prevention Essentials

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 79 minutes
Recorded Date: October 04, 2021
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• Introduction
• What lawyers should know about depression & suicide
        - Stress/Anxiety
        - Depression        
        - Burnout & Secondary Trauma
        - Alcohol/Substance Abuse
        - Cognitive Impairment
        - Suicide
• Five Strategies for Improving your Well-Being

: 1 hour, 19 minutes
Recorded: October 4, 2021

For NY - Difficulty: Experienced Attorneys Only (Non-Transitional)


Attorneys and Judges handle a litany of legal problems and stressors every day. These stressors begin in law school and continue throughout practice- brought about by long hours and the pressures of handling all the matters that come along with being part of the legal profession. The evidence is clear that attorneys need to focus more on their personal well-being. The ABA is hosting this essential program in the week leading up to World Mental Health Day to draw attention to the prevalence of depression and suicide in our profession and identify concrete steps that we can each take to help save lives. Please join us as Congressman Jamie Raskin shares a powerful taped message of how suicide has impacted his entire family.

The esteemed panel will also guide a discussion of practical strategies for intervening with colleagues and loved ones. Just knowing how to ask about depression and suicide can lend a helping hand to someone in need. World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to commit to our own well-being and improving the well-being of our profession.

This program was recorded on October 4th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Meridith Carpenter-Black

Managing Attorney
Black & Associates Legal Group

Meridith is a licensed Texas Attorney and managing attorney for Black & Associates Legal Group, a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, and a Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator in Texas.

Her practices areas include Family, Special Education, and Child Welfare Law, and her primary practice location is in Houston, TX. Mrs. Black also has years of experience assisting individuals with navigating mental health issues and coping with situational life issues that impact their personal, occupational, and daily life functioning.

Meridith is passionate about Suicide Prevention and Awareness and connecting individuals with the necessary resources to get the mental health help they need.

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Chris Ritter

Texas Lawyers Assistance Program

Chris Ritter graduated magna cum laude from Baylor Universityin 1994 with a B.A. Political Science and Philosophy. After law school at the University of Texas School of Law (J.D., 1998), hewas a trial lawyer in West Texas for over 15 years until he joined TLAP in 2014.

Most recently, Chris obtained a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lamar University (M.Ed., 2018). He has been recognized by his peers for his legal accomplishments, including being named a Texas Monthly Super Lawyers’ Rising Star three times.

During his career, his law practice has included being a solo practitioner, an Assistant Criminal District Attorney, and a partner in prominent law firms. In his work at TLAP and in pursuit of his master’s degree, he has gained significant knowledge and experience pertaining to mental health and substance use disorders and their treatment.

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