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Research and reports

This section compiles relevant research and reports related to mental health in the legal professions.

The Litigator and Mental Health: By George R. Strathy,
Chief Justice of Ontario

This 2022 paper from Chief Justice Strathy discusses mental health related to the work of barristers, as well as broader areas of practice. In it, Chief Justice Strathy calls for top-down change in our approach to mental health in the legal professions and ask leaders of law firms and the bar to consider four actionable strategies for change.

Read the paper.


National Well-being Study of legal professionals

Recognizing the increased risk of mental health challenges for those in the professions, the Law Society of Ontario partnered with researchers from the University of Sherbrooke and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada in summer 2021 to encourage licensees to participate in the first-ever National Well-being Study of legal professionals. Phase one of the study was comprised of an anonymous and confidential survey that was open from June to August 2021. Responses are currently being analysed by researchers with preliminary findings expected to be released in summer 2022.

Phase two of the study will begin in early 2022 and involves in-depth qualitative interviews with legal professionals designed to develop a more detailed understanding of the well-being issues in each participating jurisdiction.

This is the first study of legal professionals that is national in scope. With such a large pool of data, researchers have the opportunity to better understand the issues that affect the mental health and well-being of legal professionals and law societies will be better equipped with evidence-based recommendations.

Learn more in this news item.


Study of factors affecting the mental health of Québec lawyers in the workplace

Between 2014 and 2019, researchers from the University of Sherbooke partnered with the Barreau du Québec to undertake the most extensive study to-date of well-being among Québec lawyers.  Researchers examined the prevalence of psychological distress, burnout and well-being in the professions. 

Read the report.


Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation

This 2016 report outlines the Convocation-approved strategy to address mental health and addiction issues in the legal professions through both preventive and regulatory strategies, including the role that diversionary and confidential processes may play in appropriate circumstances.  

Read the report.

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