THE ADVOCATE 721
VOL. 77 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2019
I was aware of the Lawyers Assistance Program (“LAP”) for many years and
did not think it was a resource I would ever need or turn to. I had the rather
uninformed view that it only helped people with drug and alcohol addictions.
It turns out that LAP offers assistance to lawyers (and their family
members) with career and workplace issues, emotional or mental health
issues, behavioural problems and, of course, addictions of all kinds. I was
one of those people who felt great shame if I thought someone might perceive
me as anything other than someone who was totally in control and
had it all together. God forbid that someone might think I had a mental
health issue. When I suddenly found myself with a rather significant mental
health issue, I did not know where to turn and did not initially think of
turning to LAP.
I graduated from law school at the age of 30. I was already married, and
within my first year of practice my wife and I had our first child. I had my
first “real” job at a prestigious downtown law firm and was diligently paying
down our student loans and bouncing around a bit trying to find an area
within the firm that I actually enjoyed. I do not mind hard work, but I was
never one of those people to pull all-nighters and act like a big shot about
it. I also wasn’t one of those people who never comes home at night because
he is knocking back drinks with co-workers or philandering with his assistant.
Nevertheless, I did lose focus on my marriage.
For some reason I became completely besotted with my child and did
everything I could to become the perfect father. I was already a decent hus-
The Lawyers Assistance Program is an independent organization of members of the legal community (lawyers, judges
families and support staff). We provide peer support and referral services to help people deal with personal problems,
including alcohol and drug dependence, stress, anxiety and depression. We are volunteers and staff committed to providing
confidential, compassionate and knowledgeable outreach, support and education. We seek to foster collegiality among our
peers and to promote health and well-being in our community. You can reach LAP by telephone at 604-685-2171, toll-free
at 1-888-685-2171 or via the LAP website: <www.lapbc.com>.