Today is World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme is that mental health is a universal human right. We recognize that this is so. It is vital to our overall health and well-being to recognize mental health needs and access care. Doing so enhances our community, and is consistent with Covington’s long-standing practice of protecting and promoting human rights. As a firm, we are proud of our pro bono efforts working toward the conditions necessary for good mental health in the broader community in addition to providing tools and resources to ensure our firm community has accessible and good quality care.
Covington is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its global community, attorneys, advisors, and professional staff alike. For the third year in a row, Covington has committed to the American Bar Association’s Wellbeing Pledge which calls upon legal employers to:
(a) recognize that substance use and mental health problems represent a significant challenge for the legal profession and acknowledge that more can and should be done to improve the health and well-being of lawyers; and, (b) pledge to support the Campaign and work to adopt and prioritize its seven-point framework for building a better future.
Developing a culture that integrates mental health support is important to Covington, in a profession in which research suggests that 28% of licensed lawyers report symptoms of anxiety and 19% report symptoms of depression. Below are some of the initiatives that showcase our dedication to mental health and well-being.
- Expanded and diversified our methods of delivering mental health support to increase access to community members, including the provision of on-site mental health providers, partnership with an EAP provider offering text therapy, and a trained mental health first aider team.
- Hosted tailored well-being programs that provided skills-building opportunities; including but not limited to burnout prevention, mental health first aid, stress management in a high-performance workplace, strengthening resiliency, and techniques for navigating difficult conversations.
- Hosted open discussions about mental health in the legal profession, how to navigate firm-provided resources, and methods for supporting colleagues’ wellbeing in everyday interactions.
- Launched a connections program, to create space for community members to build informal connections across the firm in a low-stakes environment.
In honor of World Mental Health Day, the firm re-commits to building on our current momentum by enhancing organizational and systemic support for wellbeing, providing training to supervisors on how to foster wellbeing within practice groups, and working to integrate wellbeing into the life of our firm.