Statement Regarding Attorney Suicides
Like many of you, I am deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Kentucky attorneys by suicide. On behalf of every lawyer in Kentucky, I extend our deepest condolences to the family members, friends, and loved ones of our departed colleagues. I have spent a great deal of my time as president working on lawyer wellbeing and hearing this news made me realize that more attention must be focused on this serious issue to try and prevent the loss of any more Kentucky attorneys.
I, along with the other leaders of the Kentucky Bar Association, recognize that mental health is integral to a lawyer’s wellbeing and want to provide a set of resources regarding mental health to our members. In response, we created this page, where members will find a toolkit filled with a variety of resources.
It is also important to note that attorneys and judges seemingly face a higher risk for mental health difficulties and because of this, we will continue working to improve mental and physical wellbeing for our members through our Lawyers Advocating Wellness initiative.
Please remember that you are not alone. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, if you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. In addition, the Kentucky Lawyer Assistance Program(KYLAP) is another resource that can help attorneys facing pressing issues and that are in need of support. You can call the KYLAP office on their direct line (no operator required) at (502) 226-9373. Their telephone is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year through their answering service. The KYLAP Foundation is available to provide financial assistance for mental health treatment. KYLAP publishes numerous additional resources on its website and has over 100 lawyer volunteers who will offer CONFIDENTIAL assistance when called.
You are a valued and important part of our Kentucky legal community. Let us all pledge to help take better care of each other. I urge everyone reading this to lift up our friends and colleagues whenever and wherever we can.