July 15, 2019 Feature

Noncustodial Client Suicide: Prevention and Attorney Well-Being

Francesca Flood and Elizabeth Kelley

Suicides in America are reaching epidemic proportions, occurring across a diverse spectrum of individuals. (Ctrs. for Disease Control & Prevention, Suicide Rates Rising across the U.S., cdc.gov (June 2018).) Within these statistics are the suicides of both attorneys and their clients. Attorneys are overworked and burdened by a mix of worries unique to their profession and 3.6 times more prone to depression than nonattorney positions. (R. Flores & R. M. Arce, Why Are Lawyers Killing Themselves?, CNN.com (Jan. 20, 2014).) For clients who become embroiled in the criminal justice system, the event may become too traumatic, leading to their suicide, and many suffer from mental illness. (M. A. Ali, J. Teich & R. Mutter, Perceived Unmet Mental Health Treatment Need Among Adults with Criminal Justice System Involvement, 29 J. Health Care for the Poor & Underserved 214 (Feb. 2018).)

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