Illinois Law Schools Mental Health & Wellbeing Pledge
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JOIN the 9 Illinois Law School SBA Presidents in taking a stand for mental health and wellbeing. They each pledged their support and now ask their law student colleagues, administrators, and professors to join them:
To Our Law School Communities,
We sign this letter today to pledge to improve the wellbeing and mental health of our campuses. Improving wellness and advancing legal education are synchronized interests; by promoting one, we can promote the other. Addressing these issues today within our communities will not only make us happier and healthier individuals, but also better students and contributing members of the legal profession.
We see the lengthy history and results of substance abuse within this profession. We want to have a different outcome. We want to address wellbeing and mental health issues among our student bodies by advocating for a better future throughout our legal education, during the bar examination period, and during our professional careers.
We say to our affected peers: you are not alone. We say to all our friends and colleagues: we can do better. Poor student or practitioner health is not a necessary byproduct of a rigorous legal education and needs to be treated as the scourge of the profession that it is. Students left behind are not failure of personal strength. They are testaments to our collective failure to uplift one another and raise the standards of our trade.
Student advocates and school administrators across the country are committing themselves to studying and addressing mental health struggles in their communities. Today, we call our administration and Illinois legal community to join us in our efforts to:
engage law school administrations to take part in facilitating wellbeing and recognizing mental health issues;
listen to the concerns of students and be responsive to their wellbeing and mental health struggles;
build a school atmosphere where wellbeing and mental health is recognized as an immediate issue which deserves attention and resolution.
Today, we Pledge to broaden these efforts and join with other organizations on our campuses that strive to provide better access to care and root out the stigma in a field that often penalizes individuals for seeking help. We Commit to fight for a better mental health environment in the legal education community and we hope you will join us in these efforts.
Richard C. Minott, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Mihai F. Chitulescu, University of Chicago Law
Ashlee Germany, DePaul University College of Law
Jacob Welch, Southern Illinois University School of Law
Ashley G. Kennedy, University of Illinois College of Law
Hannah G. Johnson, John Marshall Law School
Brian P. Gibbons, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Victor Zamora, Northern Illinois University College of Law
Dawn Peacock, Chicago-Kent College of Law
Supported by the Illinois Lawyers' Assistance Program
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