Lawyers Helping Lawyers
Counseling & Support
The OBA offers all bar members up to six hours of free short-term, problem-focused or crisis counseling. The service is strictly confidential. For help with stress, depression or addiction, call the Lawyers Helping Lawyers hotline to be referred to a counselor in your area. The hotline is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Identifying participant information is not made available to the OBA and services are provided through a separate, contracted organization.
If you have a question or request that is not urgent,another option (in addition to the hotline) is to email email@example.com. Responses to email will take place during regular Monday-Friday business hours.
The LHL hotline is answered by a counseling/mental health service. After-hours calls are answered by a licensed mental health professional. Calling the hotline is always the first step to receive help or information.
Call the hotline for:
- Relationship challenges
- Depression / anxiety
- Substance abuse
- Short-term counseling
- Request for a LHL Committee member mentor
- Help for someone else who has a problem
Monthly Discussion Groups
LHL hosts a monthly meeting led by a LHL Committee member. The small group discussions are intended to give group leaders and participants the opportunity to ask questions, provide support and share information with fellow bar members to improve their lives – professionally and personally.
Meetings are held 6-7:30 p.m. on the dates listed below at the Office of Tom Cummings, 701 N.W. 13th Street, Oklahoma City. Snacks will be provided and meetings are free and open to all OBA members. RSVPs to firstname.lastname@example.org are encouraged to ensure there is food for all, but are not required.
2019 Meeting Dates and Topics
|July 11||Setting Boundaries and Maintaining Healthy Relationships|
|Aug. 1||Depression/Anxiety and the Practice of Law|
|Sept. 5||How Do You Know if You Are An Alcoholic?|
|Oct. 3||Mindfulness/Relaxation/Stress Management|
|Nov. 7||Reasonable Expectations at the Holidays|
|Dec. 5||Focusing on Gratitude|
2020 Meeting Dates and Topics
|Jan. 2||Practice of Law and Spirituality|
|Feb. 6||Substance Abuse: Talking to Colleagues|
|March 5||Keeping Things in Perspective: Wins v. Losses|
|April 2||Dealing With Difficult Judges|
|May 7||Projecting the Right Image as a Lawyer|
|June 4||Practicing Forgiveness in the Practice of Law|
|July 2||Helping Others Outside the Practice of Law|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Lawyers Helping Lawyers Assistance Program?
The program assists OBA members who are having difficulties that adversely affect their practice. Difficulties can be from a variety of sources – not just drugs and alcohol but also depression, stress, relationship challenges and gambling.
Who runs this program?
The program is administered by the LHL Assistance Program Committee and funded by OBA member dues. The LHL hotline is answered by a counseling/mental health service, contracted by the OBA.
Does the OBA know when I call the hotline?
No. All calls are confidential and are handled by a counseling/mental health service, which reports numbers of those utilizing services but no names.
How does this all work?
Lawyers Helping Lawyers provides CONFIDENTIAL help to an impaired lawyer. By statute and by OBA resolution, any information received by the program must remain completely confidential. Information regarding a lawyer is often received from the lawyer personally or from family, friends, partners or even clients. Once contact is made through the hotline, the lawyer is provided the information requested or referred to needed services. If you wish, you can be referred to a peer mentor who can work with you on specific issues.
I struggle with drugs/alcohol. How can you help?
The majority of calls received by the LHL program deal with lawyers whose lives and practices are being ruined by a drug or alcohol abuse problem. This is not at all surprising because some researchers estimate a 15percent rate of alcoholism and other substance abuse among professionals. This means there could be as many as 2,500 lawyers in Oklahoma in one stage or another of chemical dependency. To address this problem, the program has a network of lawyers who are well acquainted with the disease of alcoholism or chemical dependency and who are willing to devote their time and energy to help others find recovery.
My problem is not with drugs or alcohol. How can you help?
Lawyers, who are trained not to show weakness, can sometimes be crippled by depression or other emotional problems. Take advantage of the free, short-term counseling, participate in the monthly discussion groups or ask for a committee member mentor, who can help with emotional problems due to physical illness, senility, divorce or stress.
I know I have a serious problem, but I can’t afford treatment.
The first step is to ask for help and take advantage of the free, short-term counseling. Call the hotline. Second, you may qualify for a grant from the Lawyers Helping Lawyers Foundation to help pay for treatment or medication. To apply for a LHL Foundation grant, schedule an appointment with the off-site LHL program coordinator by calling the 800-364-7886 hotline or email email@example.com. A grant application form and more details are available online.
I don’t have a problem, but my friend does.