Alberta Lawyers' Assistance Society

Programs

Assist’s Walks for Wellness FAQs

What is the Walk for Wellness?
Assist began holding Walks for Wellness in 2012 as a simple way that lawyers and law students could get together and increase awareness about mental health challenges faced by the legal profession and how Assist can help.

By 2019, we had Walks for Wellness in 7 Alberta cities

  • Red Deer: September 5
  • Grande Prairie: September 9
  • Medicine Hat: September 11
  • Edmonton: September 12
  • Calgary: September 13
  • Lethbridge: September 16
  • Fort McMurray: September 23

What happens at a Walk for Wellness?
Lawyers, law students, friends and colleagues meet at the local courthouse. Participants will complete a name badge that identifies something they will pledge to do more of in the coming year related to well-being. Our suggestions are to spend more: Family Time, Active Time, Reflective Time, Fun Time or Whatever-you-need Time, but you know best what you want to ensure you build into your life.

We will have short opening remarks and then break into groups for the Walk. Each group will have a volunteer leader and are encouraged to complete a Well-Being Awareness Quiz as they walk. The team that gets the most answers right is announced at the end of the Walk, back at the Courthouse.Participants will receive an Assist swag bag and a prize will be awarded in each city to the organization that brings out the most people. There will be a draw for one grand prize that will be awarded after all of the Walks are complete.

What should I wear to a Walk for Wellness?
Whatever works best for you. Comfortable footwear is ideal but we recognize that lawyers have busy schedules—this is why the Walk is not too long!

What if it rains or is cold?
So far, we have not had to reschedule a Walk for Wellness due to poor weather. However, we have had rainy days, windy days and cold days and ask people to bundle up or wear their rain gear as appropriate.

Why should we be concerned about lawyer and law student mental health?
Lawyers and law students encounter mental health challenges at much higher rates than the population at large—lawyers are three times as likely to encounter a mental health issue and twice as likely to have a substance abuse issue, and these issues often originate in law school.

What does Assist do to support lawyers?
Assist operates 4 main programs:

Professional Counselling: Assist funds and oversees a professional counselling program that entitles every lawyer, law student and their immediate dependent families to 4 hours of professional counselling per person, per year, per issue.

Peer Support: Assist offers a Peer Support Matching Program where lawyers and law students can be matched with a trained lawyer/law student volunteer with experience in or insight into an issue.

Education and Awareness: Assist provides speakers, resources and awareness activities throughout the province to enhance lawyer and law students understanding of mental health challenges and resources to build resiliency and positive well-being strategies.

Community: Loneliness and isolation are often precursors to depression, so Assist provided opportunity for lawyers to connect around shared interests or activities, like yoga or being new parents.

How is Assist funded?
Assist receives annual funding from the Law Society of Alberta under its Third-Party Funding Program which allows us to operate basic programs. We are grateful for the support of the Law Society as well as the Canadian Bar Association, local bar associations and other organizations that donate money to us, including lawyers and law firms, which allows us to enrich our programs.

Assist is a charitable organization which means it can issue tax receipts to donors. Please visit our DONATE page.

How can I learn more about Assist?
Please visit our website, or call us at 1-877-737-5508.

How do I arrange a professional counselling appointment?
Please call 1-877-498-6898.