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The Member Assistance Program (MAP), offered by Homewood Health provides a wide range of services and resources to lawyers, judges, paralegals, law students, and other legal professionals, as well as their families.

Perhaps you’re stressed, not sleeping, dealing with marital strife or suspecting you drink too much. Or you may be searching for more information before deciding whether you need to speak to someone about stress, relationship problems, depression, or substance abuse.

Whatever leads you to reach out for help or guidance, lawyers often report they felt that “something changed” as soon as they took that step. Below are some of the many services offered by MAP. Visit myassistplan.com for the full list of services and resources.

Health Risk Assessment
Login to take this survey about your lifestyle and general health. It takes about 10 minutes and you get a report on actions you can take to improve your health. The survey asks questions about your eating and drinking habits, your weight, how much exercise you get, your blood pressure, how well you can relax, and other aspects of mental and physical health. The resulting downloadable report gives detailed explanations of your “scores” and advice on how to make improvements in areas of concern.

Counselling: in person, telephonic and e-counselling
When you contact MAP, you have the opportunity to speak with an experienced counsellor, including one who is a former lawyer.

You can also be connected to a peer volunteer who is a member of the profession. Your conversations are completely confidential, and there is no waiting list. You can speak to a counsellor immediately in a number of ways: arrange an in-person visit, speak on the phone, or take advantage of secure and private e-counselling.

e-counselling can be done in two ways:
• Private Conversations are similar to email, so you can compose and edit your messages (or save as drafts to revisit later) and receive replies within 2 business days, or
• Chat is a secure and confidential instant messaging “chat room” format.

MAP resource library for legal professionals
The library offers an extensive selection of articles on childcare issues, caring for aging parents, financial health, relationships, and other life challenges that can add to the stresses of a legal career. An additional series of wellness articles are aimed at those who manage others to help guide
them through such issues as job loss, illness or losing a loved one.

Below is a selection of articles and studies featured on the main
MAP site:
• Stressbusters: Sanity Savers and Practical Tips
• Lawyer Distress
• Strategies for the At Risk Lawyer
• Why Lawyers are Unhappy
• Guidelines for Legal Practitioners with Suicidal Colleagues
• Depression and Anxiety in Law Students

The health & wellness library
Looking for information you can trust? The health and wellness library is an updated collection of articles and other resources written by qualified experts in their field. It includes information designed to improve health and wellness, and assists you in improving your work-life balance. The library provides you with a wealth of exclusively Canadian content and has information on drugs, disease, natural products, tests, procedures, and general health.

e-counselling
Homewood offers a number of e-learning courses that lawyers can do from their desks. They are designed to improve personal health and well-being and/or workplace effectiveness, and deal with such topics as stress, workplace change, improving resilience, and preparing for retirement. Each course contains an interactive audio/video component, written exercises, and links to additional information
on that topic.

Completing a Homewood e-learning course qualifies for one $50 LAWPRO Risk Management credit per policy year.

To get a sense of what the courses are like, see the reviews of “Taking Control of Stress” and “Embracing Workplace Change” on the AvoidAClaim blog.

Tim Lemieux is Claims Prevention & Stakeholder Relations Co-ordinator at LAWPRO.