5 Tips for Talking About Mental Health in the Office

As lawyers, we understand the importance of communication. But when it comes to discussing mental health in the office, many of us aren’t sure what to say or even how to approach the subject.

According to a study by the American Bar Association, lawyers experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and addiction than the general population. This happens for a variety of reasons that include long hours, crushing workloads, and the often-adversarial nature of the law. But despite these alarming statistics, many lawyers still feel uncomfortable discussing mental health issues, whether it’s their own or that of their colleagues.

In this article, we’ll explore some tips for talking about mental health in the office. Whether you’re a managing partner, a senior associate, or a support staff member, these tips can help you create a workplace culture that prioritizes mental health and well-being. 

Normalize the Conversation

One of the main reasons why lawyers don’t ask for help is that they worry about appearing weak or unfit. The only way to get past this hurdle is to reduce the stigma around getting help and make it clear that needing support is not a sign of weakness.

Normalizing the topic creates an open and supportive environment for mental health conversations. Encourage everyone to talk about stress and depression like they would any other health concern. Discuss how you take care of your mental health, and encourage others at the firm to do the same.

Lead by Example

If you’re a managing partner, senior associate, or office administrator, you have a unique opportunity to set the tone for mental health conversations in the workplace. Be open about your own concerns and struggles and encourage others to do the same. When you lead by example, you can help create a culture of openness and support.

Provide Confidential Resources

Make sure the firm provides confidential resources and support for mental health. This can include employee assistance programs, mental health days, and access to mental health professionals. When these types of resources are available, employees can find it easier to prioritize their well-being. 

Foster a Supportive Environment

Create a workplace culture that prioritizes empathy, support, and understanding. Encourage colleagues to check in with each other and offer support to those who may be struggling. By fostering a supportive environment, you can help ensure that mental health conversations are met with understanding and compassion.

Encourage Self-Care

Encourage everyone at the firm to make self-care a priority. This includes:

  • Taking breaks when they need them
  • Engaging in activities that support mental health, such as exercise, meditation, or therapy

By prioritizing self-care, you can help ensure that mental health stays at the forefront of workplace conversations. This is an ideal way to prevent stress levels that lead to depression, addiction, and more.


While talking about such a personal topic can be uncomfortable, it’s an important step towards creating a supportive and healthy workplace. By taking these tips into consideration and implementing them, you can help break the stigma surrounding mental health and ensure that mental well-being is a top priority at the office.

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