A Local Approach to Lawyers’ Assistance

The practice of law is demanding! It demands your time, your energy, and your undivided attention. As an attorney, you assume enormous burdens on behalf of your clients and often forsake your own well-being to ensure positive outcomes for others. These sacrifices, many times seen as necessary to achieve success as an attorney, can exact a substantial toll on your mental and physical health.

As a result, many legal professionals struggle with overcoming stress, depression, anxiety, and/or alcohol and drug problems. In fact, recent research demonstrates that attorneys suffer from mental illness and drug or alcohol addiction at significantly higher rates than the general population and most other professions. Don’t worry, the Topeka Bar Association Lawyers’ Assistance Committee is here to help!

The Topeka Bar Association Lawyers’ Assistance Committee is committed to providing confidential, meaningful assistance to lawyers and law students in coping with alcohol or drug addictions, mental health illnesses, or any other personal or professional crises. The Topeka Bar Association Lawyers’ Assistance Committee is comprised of James “Jeb” E. Benfer, III (Chair), of McCullough, Wareheim, & LaBunker, P.A., The Honorable Teresa Watson, District Court Judge of The Third Judicial District Court of Shawnee County, Kansas, Bryan Smith, of Smith Law Firm, Jonathan M. Snyder, of Cook & Associates, LLC, Kerry Gasper, of Wiechman & Gasper, P.A., and John Harper, of Harper Law Office.

The Topeka Bar Association Lawyers’ Assistance Committee’s mission is to confidentially provide meaningful assistance to any attorney or law student needing help by reason of addiction to alcohol or drugs or as a result of any mental or physical illness or disorder. The Topeka Bar Association Lawyers’ Assistance Committee is a free, confidential assistance program providing consultation, referral, and intervention for lawyers and law students who are struggling with substance abuse, stress or emotional health issues. While the Kansas Lawyers’ Assistance Program (KALAP) remains an option, The Topeka Bar Association Lawyers’ Assistance Committee offers a friendly, local approach to providing our colleagues with assistance and support.

Personal problems are hard to talk about, especially for attorneys. The Topeka Bar Association Lawyers’ Assistance Committee treats each request for help with the same confidentiality as the lawyer-client relationship. The Topeka Bar Association Lawyers’ Assistance Committee has substantial expertise and experience in assisting with the complicated issues faced by lawyers and law students and a proven record of helping legal professionals overcome their struggles and maintain continued wellness.

If you need help, contact a member of the Topeka Bar Association Lawyers’ Assistance Committee today. Confidential and free.

James “Jeb” E. Benfer, III Phone:  785-233-2323

Honorable Teresa Watson Phone:  785-251-4130

Bryan Smith Phone:  785-234-2453

Jonathan M. Snyder Phone:  785-235-5500

Kerry Gasper Phone:  785-233-8862

John Harper Phone:  785-354-8188


  Jeb Benfer, Chair of the Lawyers Assistance Committee

In addition to contacting a committee member, below are helpful resources for attorneys:

Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program

https://kalap.com/

1-785-368-8275

Family Support

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) 310-534-1815
Al-Anon/Alateen 888-4AL-anon
Nar-Anon Family Groups
Co Dependents Anonymous (CODA) 602-277-7991
Co Dependents of Sex Addicts 612-537-6904

Mental Health Sites

American Psychiatric Publishing
MDadvice.com
Archives of the Journal of General Psychiatry (AMA)
Mental Health Infosource
National Institute of Mental Health (NIDA)

Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity

Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) 800-477-8191
Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) 781-255-8825
Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) 615-331-6230

Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa & Associated (Eating) Disorders
Overeaters Anonymous 505-891-2664

Chemical Dependency & Self Help Sites

Addiction Recovery Resources for Professionals
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 212-870-3400
American Medical Association
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (SAMHSA)
Cocaine Anonymous (CA) 800-347-8998
Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) 213-488-4455
Dual Diagnosis Website
Dual Recovery Anonymous
Habit Smart
Hazelden Recovery Center
International Lawyers in A.A. (ILAA)
Marijuana Anonymous (MA)
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (SAMHSA)

Nicotine Anonymous (NA) 415-750-0328
Recovery Related Resources
Treatment Improvement Exchange (CSAT)
Web of Addictions
Stop Smoking Secrets

Compulsive Gambling

Debtors Anonymous (DA) 781-453-2743
Gamblers Anonymous (GA) 231-386-8789

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION’S NATIONAL TASK FORCE ON LAWYER WELL-BEING

Creating a Movement To Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession

https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/images/abanews/ThePathToLawyerWellBeingReportRevFINAL.pdf

HAZELDEN BETTY FORD PRESS RELEASE ON JOINT ABA STUDY ON ATTORNEY SUBSTANCE ABUSE, MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS

https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/about-us/news-media/press-release/2016-aba-hazelden-release-first-study-attorney-substance-use

LINK TO HAZELDEN BETTY FORD/ABA STUDY ON ATTORNEY SUBSTANCE ABUSE, MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS

https://journals.lww.com/journaladdictionmedicine/Fulltext/2016/02000/The_Prevalence_of_Substance_Use_and_Other_Mental.8.aspx

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