Important changes to VJLAP’s 12-Step and Wellness Support Meetings:

1. Effective immediately, the Monday 12-Step Support Meetings will commence at 6:30 PM instead of 8:00 PM. VJLAP will no longer host a Monday 12-Step Support Meeting at 8:00 PM. Changes will be made to the event calendar.
2. After 04/08/24, there will no longer be Monday Wellness Support Meetings at 6:30 PM. If you are interested in such a meeting, there is a Thursday Wellness Support Meeting (1, 3 and 5th Thursday of the month). Changes will be made to the event calendar.
3. Effective immediately, there will no longer be a Wednesday 12-Step Meeting at 6:00 PM. There is a Wednesday 12-Step Meeting at 5:30PM and a meeting on the 1, 3 & 5th Monday of the month at 6:30PM. Changes will be made to the event calendar.
4. Please also note the Thursday Wellness Support Meetings that had been every Thursday will only be the 1, 3 & 5 Thursday of the month. Changes will be made to the event calendar.

Thank you for your attention to these updates. If there are questions, please reach out to Barbara Mardigian at bmardigian@vjlap.org.

The Beacon

The Power of Peers

October 13, 2020
The Power of Peers

Connection is the key. Peer assistance has been shown to be a powerful tool in improving wellness and outcomes in community mental health and addiction support programs including in mental health and veterans’ centers. When Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in the 1930s, it adopted a “we” approach to recovery. Over time, peer support has been recognized a key component in the many dimensions of personal wellness and this emphasis has only grown in recent years.

VJLAP utilizes volunteers throughout our program. Whether you are dealing with stress, addiction, or mental health concerns, a mentor volunteer who has been where you are can be an important part of your path to well-being. These legal professionals have been and are engaged in personal recovery from addiction or mental health issues. They can help you to understand that you are not alone in dealing with these issues and can be positive supports on your road to coping with these conditions. It is also inspiring to know that others have confronted their problems and have been able to overcome the obstacles with which you are currently struggling.

Talking about our experiences helps others and removes stigma from issues we face and gives others hope. If our colleagues are talking to us about their struggles with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, grief, trauma, or addictions, these issues are no longer faceless and secretive. Through this organic process, these concerns are brought into the light to make them easier to confront and treat.

There are many resources for legal professionals on the ABA website. One is The Lawyers Depression Project (https://www.lawyersdepressionproject.org/). That is an online peer support program. VJLAP also hosts wellness, women’s wellness, and 12-Step peer support groups (https://vjlap.org/events/).

You will be seeing several different stories from legal professionals this week sharing their experiences with mental health and addiction. These are real people, just like you. If you recognize yourself in any of your peers who are sharing, please reach out to us. We will listen to you, support you, and help you to find and connect to the resources that will set you on your path to recovery.

** The contents of this article are not intended for the purpose of diagnostic or medical/psychological care. Consultation with a medical or mental health professional is recommended if you are concerned about your well-being.

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