As a follow on of “R U OK? Day,” (second Thursday of September), we’ve decided to talk about mental health and wellbeing in law, as it remains an important sector wide issue.
Associate Justice Mary-Jane Ierodiaconou believes an important aspect of mental wellbeing has to do with finding meaning in one’s profession and work. She says a common issue amongst law professionals and students is the obsession with extrinsic success, such as affluence, luxury, and power. “Lawyers and law students need to be able to paint their own personal picture of how success looks to them, and it will be a picture that includes their personal purpose for working in the profession,” says the judge.
Ierodiaconou believes “a focus on intrinsic goals is better for wellbeing than a focus on extrinsic goals.” Nurturing intrinsic values leads to a better life, both personal and professional. The importance of personal reflection, mindfulness, and virtue ethics practices, as well as the value of maintaining personal relationships and communities to preserving mental health and wellbeing are beyond that of class standing, financial success, image, or status.
With at least seven Australians losing their lives to suicide each day, we can’t put off this conversation any longer. We need to talk about mental health, and we need to do our best to live good lives.
For support, or more information about the R U OK?, go onto their website, here.