Paul L. Caron

Friday, July 15, 2022

11% Of Law Students Had Suicidal Thoughts In 2021. What Can Law Schools Do?

Following up on last week's post, The 2021 Survey Of Law Student Well-Being:  ABA Journal, 11% of Law Students Had Suicidal Thoughts in the Past Year, Survey Finds; What Can Law Schools Do?:

More law students are reporting a need for help with emotional or mental health problems, and more are reporting a past diagnosis of depression or anxiety, according to a survey of law students in 39 law schools.

“What is clear is that our law students need help,” the professors who oversaw the 2021 survey write in an article to be published in the University of Louisville Law Review ['It Is Okay To Not Be Okay': The 2021 Survey Of Law Student Well-Being]. “This is a particularly propitious time for various administrators and faculty and staff at law schools to invest more energy and creativity and resources in supporting law student well-being.”

Perhaps most startling is this data point, the article says: Nearly 70% of the law students thought they needed help in the last year for emotional or mental health problems. That figure is a big jump from the last time the survey was administered in 2014, when 42% reported thinking they needed help. ...

Eleven percent of the law students had thought seriously about suicide in the past year, compared to 6% in 2014. Nearly 33% of the students reported they had thought about attempting suicide in their lifetime, up from 21% in 2014.

The survey included open-ended questions about what the students’ law schools could to promote overall wellness. Suggestions included socializing opportunities, peer mentors, an inclusive culture, an end to the “boot camp/hazing culture,” ending the Socratic method, academic support, onsite counseling, stress management, caring professors and therapy dogs.

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