NC LAP Volunteers
A Chance to Serve
The Lawyer Assistance Program provides assistance to lawyers suffering from any form of impairment. Whether it is depression, anxiety, compassion fatigue, or substance abuse, these conditions always require good, competent medical treatment. But they are, by their very nature, long-term conditions that require on-going support for the affected lawyer to maintain recovery, stability, good mental health and optimum quality of life.
LAP philosophy is grounded in our knowledge and first-hand experience that the most effective, long-term, continuing support for any of these mental health conditions comes through peer support from others who have experienced the same situation and who have recovered. It is kind of like being a new parent: when you bump into another new-parent friend, no explanation is necessary – one look at each other and you each “get it”: the exhaustion, the exhilaration, the worry, the joy – all of it, without necessarily uttering a single word to one another. And when you start talking to one another, you find you can finish each other’s sentences. For those who have been down that “new parent” road, no explanation is necessary. For those who have not, no explanation will due. It is the same with any impairing condition or difficult life circumstance. For those who are alcoholics – other recovering alcoholics understand, “get it,” and can guide a newly recovering alcoholic lawyer in a way no one else can. The same is true for those lawyers who have addicted teen or young adult children. Other parents who have “been there” provide invaluable support and real-world guidance. For those lawyers who were seriously depressed and contemplated (or even attempted) suicide – they can connect with a severely depressed lawyer in a way no one else can. In each of these examples, these volunteers speak not from theory or speculation, but from actual experience. Speaking as one who has been down that road and emerged on the other side is the most powerful beacon of hope available to a lawyer in the throes of his or her own dilemma.
In short, if you have walked in the shoes of someone who suffers from alcoholism, depression, anxiety or other issues, you have an invaluable experience when shared with someone else who is suffering. Though the LAP is directed by trained professionals, without question, our most effective assistance is rendered by and through our volunteers. Find out more about becoming a volunteer today.
To access Online Monitoring Forms and the Volunteer Manual, please login here.