May is Mental Health Awareness Month

OTLA takes pride in representing victims of negligence in Ontario. When advocating for our clients, we ensure that the mental health component of their claims is not overlooked. Often long after the physical impact of an accident or negligence heals, the psychological effects continue and can be profoundly life-changing – not only for the victims themselves as they journey on the road to recovery, but for their families as well. Through regular CLE programs, OTLA offers education to its membership on how to understand and communicate their clients’ psychological experiences, and how to access and quantify the needed support and treatment that they require as a result. 

OTLA also joins in the effort to destigmatize conversations around mental health. Members are encouraged to take care of their own psychological well-being, as lawyers work in fast-paced and stressful environments, where “secondary trauma” is a very real experience. Through resources including the Member Assistance Program offered by the Law Society of Ontario, OTLA encourages its members to take advantage of professional counselling services, as well as engaging in open, supportive conversations with one another, and to be reminded of our obligations of civility (though our work is adversarial, we all experience times when our work is impacted by our personal challenges). OTLA also provides education in our conferences and other CLE events on such topics as “trauma informed lawyering,” and how to seek and maintain our own healthy and balanced lifestyles.

OTLA is set to embark on new mentorship initiatives in the Fall of 2024, designed to create meaningful, intentional mentor/mentee relationships that will support members in their practices and other aspects of their lives.

The holistic wellbeing of our members enables us to be our very healthiest version of ourselves, thereby enabling us to advance our injured clients’ interests in the most effective possible way. This is, after all, the very foundation and purpose of OTLA.

Written by

Meghan is a partner at Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP, where she has practiced for the last 17 years. Her practice is focused on all types of personal injury litigation on behalf of seriously injured plaintiffs and their families. In addition to motor vehicle accident and long-term disability claims, she practices in the area of medical malpractice.