Study Finds Mental Health Challenges Among Legal Professionals, Law Firm Commits to Helping

Posted May 29th, 2023 by Lina Moskaleva & Effie Pow

The legal profession can be a highly demanding and stressful field, with many professionals experiencing burnout, anxiety, and depression. Roper Greyell, one of the largest employment and labour law firms in Western Canada, is leading the charge in prioritizing the mental health and well-being of legal professionals. 

In a time when over a third of employed Canadians are experiencing burnout (source) and legal professionals are suffering from high levels of psychological distress, depression, anxiety, burnout and suicidal ideation (source), Roper Greyell is taking action.

The 2022 National Study on the Psychological Health Determinants of Legal Professionals in Canada suggests that stress, depression, and substance use are prevalent in the legal profession. Key findings include:

  • 24% of legal professionals have had thoughts of suicide since starting their legal practice; in comparison 11.8% of the Canadian population have had suicidal thoughts (Government of Canada, 2020)
  • 28.6% of legal professionals had a major depressive disorder compared to 15% of the general population between September to December 2020 (Statistics Canada, 2021)
  • 35.7% of legal professionals indicated generalized anxiety disorder compared to 13% for the general population between September to December 2020 (Statistics Canada, 2021)

Groups with the highest proportions of psychological distress were found to be legal professionals who identified as women, were living with a disability, identified as LGBTQ2S+, were working in Nunavut, or those who were articling students.

Roper Greyell’s commitment to supporting mental health was demonstrated by their 2022 holiday season donation of $10,000 to the Crisis Centre of BC. In February 2023, members of the Roper Greyell team visited the Centre and witnessed firsthand the incredible impact the organization has on the community.

Partner and head of their Equity Diversity and Inclusion committee, Sandra Guarascio, reflected on the visit, stating, “Walking through the hallway of recognition where volunteers who had generously dedicated thousands of hours of time were honoured, we were struck by the incredible difference this organization makes at a time when supports for mental health are increasingly in demand.”

The law firm’s generosity and unwavering commitment to mental health serve as a shining example for all organizations. Thank you, Roper Greyell, for championing legal professionals’ well-being and positively impacting your community.

The Crisis Centre of BC is committed to supporting people in need of support during times of crisis. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out:

  • Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (no area code required)
  • Anywhere in BC 1800SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433

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Our Impact The topic and word "suicide" is not so scary after taking a training from the Crisis Centre of BC. I'm grateful to have been here today, and am hopeful that I can help people in the future. safeTALK participant, Agassiz