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Mental Health Awareness Week and its importance in the legal profession

Monday, October 5, 2020
Mental Health Awareness Week

On behalf of ISBA, GPSG, and OWLSS, we present to you Mental Health Awareness Week at Iowa Law.

As racial injustice and the pandemic continues in addition to the stresses associated with law school, we hope that our law school community can come together and support each other’s mental health and well-being during these hard times.

Mental health is important to our community beyond this week of awareness. As law school students and future lawyers, we are in an environment that enables and incentivizes poor mental health. Please know that your struggle with mental health is normal and that a lot of your peers are struggling with the very same thing.

The Iowa Law community joins together in support—brining this important topic to light this week and sharing their statements on mental health. Stay tuned to our social media channels for more information this week! The full schedule events and login details are listed below.

Iowa Student Bar Association (ISBA)

The Iowa Student Bar Association is co-sponsoring the upcoming Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental wellbeing is of critical importance to each of us as individual students and collectively as a law school community. The Mental Health Awareness Week is an excellent opportunity to engage in dialogue regarding the mental health issues facing students. It is also an opportunity to recognize the resources available at the University Counseling Services (UCS) for law students to achieve that end. ISBA encourages students to participate in the upcoming week’s activities.

Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG)

Graduate and professional students operate in a heightened state of stress during "normal" times. This year has proven particularly difficult and added multiple points of distress on top of trying to handle school, work, and relationships. Know that you are resilient and not alone. Addressing mental health concerns in ourselves and assisting our peers is a journey made better when we walk it together. Connecting with others, accessing care, and utilizing campus resources are simple, but powerful ways to practice self-care. Because of the immense importance of mental health, GPSG supports, and values initiatives that prioritize mental health and holistic wellness. 

Organization of Women Law Students & Staff (OWLSS)

OWLSS is proud to support our fellow law students by centering our conversations around mental health in law school and throughout our careers. Mental health and the stigma that often surrounds it is so relevant for law students and lawyers, particularly during these uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic and the events surrounding racial injustice in our country. It is critical to discuss the systemic issues that greatly contribute to the current mental health crisis because of an individual's race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Our goal as a student organization at the College of Law is to create and join the important discussions about how recent events in our world, the general stress of law school, and the field of law impacts mental health. We seek to encourage students to utilize the helpful resources at the University of Iowa and the College of Law to allow us to cope and thrive in law school and beyond. 

The Journal of Corporation Law (JCL)

Law school has a reputation as an environment designed to wreak havoc on your mental health. For many people, there is the persistent imposter syndrome, the never-ending to-do list, the constant undercurrents of a rat race, and a curve that hangs like a guillotine; more importantly, the pressures of law school do not relent when life outside of Boyd takes an unexpected turn. If anything, the environment can exacerbate our struggles and further promote inequality.

As a community, we have a duty to demand access to adequate mental health services, to treat our peers with compassion, and ultimately, to foster a supportive culture at our law school. I want that for all of JCL, and I want that for you, too. There is nothing more important than your own health and well-being, and we must all resist the bait to think otherwise.

Stacey Murray, JCL Editor-in-Chief, on behalf of the journal.

Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA)

The Jewish Law Students Association reaches out to those who feel isolated and in pain. It is important that, despite our multiplied responsibilities as lawyers-to-be and members of our communities that we maintain and strengthen those relationships that hold us together. Mental Health Week lets us all remember that, however stressful our responsibilities make us, there is always the opportunity for us to reach out, connect, and rise above. Let us take this chance to celebrate ourselves both for what we have in common, and what sets us apart.

Iowa Student Health Law Association (ISHLA)

The Iowa Student Health Law Association joins with ISBA, GPSG, and OWLSS to voice support for mental health awareness at the University of Iowa College of Law. Regardless of one’s socioeconomic status, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other of the numerous individual characteristics that affects one’s mental health journey, each person’s mental health should be tantamount to their physical well-being. You matter. Your mental health matters. We love you and support you.

Danny Bush, President of ISHLA and Sam Cropper, President-Elect of ISHLA

For additional resources visit: 

 

Schedule of Events:

On behalf of ISBA, GPSG, and OWLSS, we present to you the Mental Health Week at Iowa Law from October 5th-9th. Each day we will be posting on the ISBA, the OWLSS, and each class Facebook page with information regarding mental health.