Assist in 2019 - Snapshot
1. Professional Counselling Services: Record number of 1027 professional counselling files were opened in 2019.
Program utilization rates were 10.3% approx.: one in ten lawyers, one in four articling students and one in three law students accessed counselling through Assist in 2019.
2. Peer Support: Record number of 33 peer support matches.
3. Assist Community: Programs continued to connect lawyers and students around common interests or experience with a view to combating loneliness and isolation within our profession, as these are common precursors to depression and poor mental health.
Drop-in Coffee Circles
Free Weekly Yoga
New Parents Practicing Law
4. Education and Awareness: We held Walks for Wellness in 6 Alberta cities—Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and For McMurray—and delivered many educational presentations about lawyer well-being.
5. Assist has an independent Board of Directors: Assist’s Board consisted of 8 lawyers, plus the CEO of the College of Alberta Psychologists, from across the province:
Red Deer: 2
6. Financial: Assist spent 70% of its 2019 resources on professional counselling services, peer support and community, 22% on education and awareness and 8% on admin/other.
Assist in 2020 - Responding to Crisis
We kicked off 2020 (Nov. 1, 2019 to Oct. 31, 2020) with our Hand to Hand evening featuring a discussion on lawyer mental health with Retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Clement Gascon, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Michele Hollins and Retired Provincial Court Judge Robert Philp.
When COVID-19 arrived and many lawyers and students encountered job loss, financial uncertainty, juggling working from home with childcare and homeschooling, and anxiety, Assist pivoted its programming to address needs.
Professional Counselling: Program usage was strong, with a slight dip for March and April, and then the busiest May and June since the program began.
Peer Support: 27 matches (November 1, 2019 through July 29, 2020), predominantly regarding career issues.
Red Mug Coffee Circles, our innovative drop-in coffee time where articling students and junior lawyers can easily connect with more seasoned lawyers, moved online. We host an on-line group of 8-12 each Monday at noon.
Education and Awareness: COVID resources added to our website
Toll Free 1-877-498-6898 Weekdays & 24/7 (Crisis Only)
Toll Free: 1-877-737-5508 Weekday
Buddy Up! To Walk for Wellness
World Suicide Prevention Day
September 10, 2020 at noon