On April 13, 2016, we had the pleasure of hosting a Lunch and Learn with Marian De Souza, QC as our speaker. Marian is the Executive Director of Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing confidential help to lawyers, law students, and their immediate families with personal issues.
Marian shed light on the many types of personal issues that affect the legal community such as stress/burnout and anxiety. She highlighted that women tend to suffer more from stress/burnout and concerns over hours worked compared to men. Marian also identified the signs of stress that lawyers demonstrate like drastic changes in personality and avoidance of co-workers.
Marian discussed the resources available to cope with personal issues and achieve success in law, and introduced the concept of “resiliency” – the ability to develop tangible strategies to deal with trauma. Participant analysis found that women were slightly more likely to use the program and had a higher chance of finding the program effective.
Assist provides professional counseling services and peer support for a range of personal issues including stress, anxiety, work-related issues, family problems as well as alcohol, drug and other addictions.
Call Assist’s 24/7 line at 1-877-498-6898 from anywhere in Alberta for on-call support, emergency help or to set up an appointment with a counsellor. The program is voluntary and confidential.