Elizabeth Rimmer & LawCare

Elizabeth Rimmer & LawCare

Mckenzie Cross

Staff

Elizabeth Rimmer is the Chief Executive Officer for the company LawCare. She joined the organization in 2014 and has worked hard with them ever since. She graduated in 1997 from Kings College in London majoring in medical law and ethics. Before she worked at LawCare, Rimmer had been working as a solicitor specializing in clinical negligence. She has had over fifteen years of experience operating and organizing mental health charities. Currently at Lawcare, she has been working hard to create a strong support system for professionals within the legal field and their families.

LawCare was founded in 1997, and since then they have helped thousands of people within the legal profession with mental health issues. The organization has grown and now serves the people throughout the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, and Jersey. LawCare is focused to not let any lawyer feel alone. Feeling like they are the only one suffering is one of the biggest reasons that they do not seek out help. LawCare has a helpline that you can call where you will be paired with an employee or volunteer that also have experience working within the law sector.

Their helpline is their main support program. It is available to call 365 days a year. The hotline is confidential, impartial, and independent from the United Kingdom’s law system. One of the most unique qualities about the LawCare helpline is that if you feel as though you are struggling more than the person can help you, you will be sent through to a LawCare supporter. A LawCare supporter is an employee who has also gone through a large struggle. They are there for you one on one for as long as you may need. The company also keeps a list of counselors and psychiatrists on hand. These mental health professionals have had special experience working with lawyers in the past, so that they may know the best treatment route for you. These lists are kept on hand so that whenever the need arises they are ready to refer you.

The hotline was created on the basis that sometimes a human just needs to talk to another human. Seventy-five percent of the calls that came through last year reported stress as the reason that they were calling. Sometimes, being able to call a stranger and talk about your problems actually helps you to work through them on your own. LawCare says that most of their callers report that they do not feel as though they need any follow up support.

Another unique aspect to the organization is that they also provide support to families and friends of Lawyers. Not only do the legal professionals need help dealing with stress and anxiety, but sometimes their families need help knowing what to do to help their loved one. LawCare provides this information to families to help them grow together. This is very important because working with stress and anxiety, as well as other mental health illnesses, is already hard enough without having to worry about your family. Lawcare takes this worry away and even turns it around so that your family may help you become even more successful.

Elizabeth Rimmer’s work with LawCare has helped the United Kingdom greatly. Not only has she been helping to create a support system throughout the legal field, she is bringing awareness to an issue that usually does not like to be talked about. By breaking down the stigma walls and showing legal professionals and other professionals that mental health is a very real issue, we can provide support and resources to make the working community a healthier place.        

Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren and Her Dedication to Help the Mentally Ill

Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren and Her Dedication to Help the Mentally Ill

Photo: J. Albert Diaz/ALM

Mckenzie Cross

Staff

Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren is a judge in the criminal circuit division court in Broward County Florida and is setting forth a reaction across the United States to help and understand the mentally ill. Lerner-Wren graduated with her J.D degree from the Nova Southeastern law center. She started her career as a commercial real estate and general practice lawyer. She then moved on to serve as a PAIMI lawyer (Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness) in the 17th judicial court. With her experience as a PAIMI lawyer and her understanding of mental illness, it was to no surprise when Chief Judge Dale Ross made her the head of the newly formed Mental Health Court. Although she was only 37 and had been a judge for only one year, she took the role, and from that moment on, the view on mental health cases has changed. This choice would prove to be a good one as she went on to help pave the way for other courts to follow. Dale Ross stated “When you are blazing the path, when there is no blueprint, you have to make hundreds of decisions every day. As far as I can tell, she took something that never was and made it into something that everybody wants. And that’s amazing.”

The idea and construction of the court stemmed from the highly publicized case of Aaron Wynn. When Wynn was only eighteen years old, he was involved in a car accident that caused brain damage. After the accident, he portrayed violent behavior. Although his parents tried to receive help, they were never granted it by the government. Later Wynn had a violent outbreak and pushed an 85- year-old woman. Unfortunately, she fell, hit her head, and sadly died. He was then charged with manslaughter. However, he was deemed unfit to stand trial. It was the heartbreak of this case that led to a Judicial report in 1994. The report disclosed that 10,000 mentally ill citizens were jailed annually. Nonetheless, they were not receiving any mental health treatment.

Things changed however when Judge Lerner- Wren stepped up to the plate. Since 2000, she has redirected over twenty- thousand mental illness cases from going to jail and instead helped to find them a safe place where they can be treated and helped. “It’s the matter of humanizing the law, when you do that, the … forces in the courtroom shift” she stated. Her compassion for people within her court is astounding that what makes her such a great judge. She said that even if things did not work with the newly formed court, she needed families to know that there was someone fighting against the harsh injustice of courts when it came to the mentally ill. “We have an abiding belief in recovery,” she said. “People diagnosed with mental health conditions have the capacity to pursue their dreams and their professional lives. They deserve dignity and are entitled to the full breadth of their legal rights under the law. Every individual has worth and should have the opportunity to reach their human potential in this life within the community” these words gave hope to families and hope into a new court system.

Lerner-Wren also wrote a book to bring awareness to the court titled, “A Court of Refuge“. Within the book, she focuses on different cases that she presided on throughout her time as the Mental Health Court Judge and shows the growth of the court from the beginning to helping tens of thousands of people. She is also an international public speaker in hopes of reaching more people and growing this type of court division. She has even been awarded multiple times. Some of her more prestigious awards include the Justice Leadership Award in 2013, the Humanitarian of the Year in 2000, and that same year she received the Children’s Advocate Award.

Throughout all of her hard work, she has remained focused on bettering the lives of those in need. The Broward’s Court could not have picked a more focus, determined woman. Families put their trust into her everyday, and she never lets them down. “My time spent at the state hospital working on behalf of the residents there, that was a difficult tour of duty,” she said. “This is a healing tour of duty.”

Brian Cuban and the Road to Recovery

Brian Cuban and the Road to Recovery

Mckenzie Cross

Staff

Brian Cuban, an attorney in Dallas Texas, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh School of Law already deep into addiction. As a freshman at eighteen, he became anorexic. By the age of nineteen, he was bulimic and would stay bulimic until his recovery as forty-four years old. He became an alcoholic by the age of twenty-two, and at the age of twenty- five he was self-harming. He then added cocaine to his list of struggles at the age of twenty-seven and addiction to steroids at the age of thirty. He had become suicidal, spent time in a psychiatric hospital twice and had three failed marriages all before the age of forty-four. Finally, on April 7th, 2007, after a two-day blackout, caused by drugs and alcohol, he was in recovery.

During his recovery, he stopped practicing law and became an influential advocate for rehabilitation not only in the law field but in general as well. His first book was published in August 2013, titled “My Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder“. In the book, he reaches out to his audience and tells of how he grew up diagnosed and suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). BDD is a severe disorder where a person is obsessed with minor or sometimes imaginary flaws. The disorder is commonly affiliated with addiction and other abusive behaviors. Throughout the book, he takes his readers on a journey through what he went through during his childhood. From dealing with bullying, rejections, and his depression, you get to know Brian Cuban as a person.  Larry North, Healthy Living Lifestyle Expert, Bestselling author of Get Fit and Living Lean wrote,”Having helped people learn to lose weight and keep it off for more than 25 years, I now believe Brian Cuban has had the courage to open an emotional door that will give both men and women a true understanding of how they perceive their body image and unlock that door for a lifetime of success”.       

 Having touched his audience and helped to break down the stigma of males with mental and eating disorders he released the second book in June of 2017 titled, “The Addicted Lawyer: Tales of the Bar, Booze, Blow, and Redemption“. In his second book, Brian focuses on his story as an addict in the legal profession in a heartfelt and honest reflection of his life choices and his career. However, the book also helps to bring light to mental illness and addiction within the legal field. He goes into depth as to why there is such a high percentage of law professionals that will suffer from these different disorders throughout their lives and careers. Brian also wanted to focus on how to help those suffering in analyzing different treatment methods, detailing different types of therapies, and whether or not twelve-step programs are the only therapies that genuinely work. Along with his story and thoughts on recovery, Brian also includes stories from other lawyers that have suffered from addiction and mental illness and their roads to redemption. Through a book of compelling testimonies, you get to know the real lives of lawyers and professionals who have suffered and ways to help those who might currently be.          

Along with his two successful books, he also travels around the United States and Canada speaking to universities, conferences, nonprofit and legal events.   His writings have appeared, and he has been quoted on these topics on CNN.com, Foxnews.com, The Huffington Post, Above The Law, The New York Times, and in online articles from all over the world. Some of his most famous speeches include speaking at The American Bar Association’s annual conference, Katie Couric show, The Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and many more well-known conventions.

Brian Cuban has now dedicated his life to helping people from across the world. His work is opening up the eyes of people and helping them in acknowledging the fact that mental illness and addiction is a genuine and severe disease. With help from people in all different professions and the support of clients and citizens, we can attempt to help, inform, and provide assistance to those in need of it.