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Posted by: John Gunn on Aug 26, 2020

Headshot photo of John GunnJohn Gunn
The Gunn Law Firm, P.C.

For years, I considered reaching out for help when I was in emotional turmoil. I picked up the telephone more than once, with the number to contact the Missouri Lawyers' Assistance Program (MOLAP) staring back at me.

I didn't call, but I wish I had.

Those moments were never moments of weakness, but rather were glimpses of emotional strength and self-awareness that were extremely elusive during that period of my life.

Had I called, my call would have been answered by a human or returned by one within an hour or so. The opportunity to articulate my difficulty would have provided some catharsis, ease, release. If necessary, I would have been referred to a counselor or program that could provide additional assistance, focused on whatever the unique need.

Those are the facts.

I also expect an adjustment to state of mind would have begun, a first step toward a more fulfilling and less oppressive feeling existence.

The reason those aspirational predictions do not feel unrealistic is because I found them, it just took longer than it had to.

MOLAP is totally confidential. The fear of stigma attached to making the call is unnecessary. No information provided to MOLAP is shared with anyone. Concern with respect to information getting to other stakeholders is often cited as a reason the call wasn't made. We reiterate at every possible turn that MOLAP is completely confidential.

MOLAP is free. This is a service developed specifically as a benefit to members of The Missouri Bar, but extends to the families and staff of those members. Wellness of those in our profession requires the wellness of those in our immediate surroundings. Cost should not be a barrier to making the call.

MOLAP is available not just for the caller, but also is equipped to make referrals if there is a concern for others. Members of the Bar who may not believe they are experiencing the difficulty observed by those who care about them can still receive help provided MOLAP receives the call.

MOLAP is available 24/7/365 by phone (1-800-688-7859) with access to a licensed clinical social worker and part time access to a licensed professional counselor.

Making this call is not something to avoid. If the inclination is there, seize on it and rely on the program to help work through whatever is needed to be worked through. This is true even if your question is whether the issue experienced rises to the level of need that can be addressed by MOLAP.


The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Saint Louis Bar Foundation or BAMSL’s Board of Governors. Acceptance of advertising and new product information does not imply endorsement of products or services advertised or listed nor statements concerning them.


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