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The IndyBar: Providing HEALing for the Local Legal Community

From IndyBar
March 12, 2014
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iba heal coordinatorsAs the local bar association, the IndyBar takes an active interest in the wellbeing of local legal professionals and their families. One bar program, called “Helping Enrich Attorneys Lives” (HEAL), aims to provide support and/or assistance during times of personal and professional crisis.

HEAL was created to assist lawyers, judges and paralegals in the Indianapolis metropolitan area who are personally experiencing a crisis or are affected by the crisis of someone close to that person, such as a spouse or professional colleague. The HEAL program is available to all legal professionals practicing in the Indianapolis area and is not exclusive to IndyBar members. The way the HEAL program functions is simple, but its impact can be great.

What kind of issues doesHEAL address?

The HEAL program is available to individuals experiencing matters such as health conditions, a death of a loved one, weather or other disaster related events or a major life crisis or setback. The HEAL program is not an appropriate vehicle to assist those struggling with substance abuse, mental health issues, gambling issues or other problems that require more specialized assistance. Such matters may be referred to the IndyBar Lawyers Assistance Program, the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP) or other support services. For more information or assistance, please contact Julie Armstrong, IndyBar Executive Director at 317-269-2000 or jarmstrong@indybar.org. The program is also not available to assist those in need of legal representation.

What kind of help is available?

Any response by the HEAL Program is meant to be meaningful, compassionate and appropriate under the circumstances. Responses may vary widely according to individual situations. In some situations, the appropriate response might be as simple as a card or note from HEAL Program Coordinators or others expressing support and concern. Other times, HEAL members might help identify and refer those needing assistance to community or other resources for direct assistance.

How do I ask for help?

Requests for assistance can be made by a concerned friend or colleague on behalf of another individual or by individuals in crisis themselves. Requests should be submitted to heal@indybar.org, to IndyBar Executive Director Julie Armstrong at jarmstrong@indybar.org or 269-2000, or to one of the IndyBar HEAL Program Coordinators (see sidebar). Members of the HEAL Committee will then assess whether the matter is within the scope of the program, confirm that assistance is wanted, address confidentiality and determine the most appropriate response.

Information shared with HEAL will be kept confidential and will not be communicated outside of the HEAL program.

How can I help?

IndyBar members interested in participating in HEAL should contact committee chair Aubrey Noltemeyer at akuchar@k-glaw.com. HEAL members will be then be placed into an email group to circulate requests and identify assistance.•

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