Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Hindustan Times Article: Ah, that explains a lot...,008700010014.htm

Law students more depressed than others


Sydney, September 19, 2008

Law students and lawyers suffer twice or even thrice as much psychological distress as medical students and others, according to a representative study conducted in Australia.

The study, conducted by the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI), included over 2,400 lawyers and 741 law students from 13 law schools.

Law students were found to have much higher rates of depression than medical students or other general students at the university. Significantly, law students were also found to be less knowledgeable about depression, but had greater concerns about alcohol and other substance misuse and greater reluctance to seek professional care.

They were more likely to expect that they would be discriminated against in the work place as a result of being recognised as a person with depression, a Sciencealert report said.

The study extends previous work done by the national depression initiative in 2007, which had demonstrated that lawyers reported higher levels of depression and substance misuse than other professionals.

In his presentation, Ian Hickie of BMRI emphasised that the willingness of the law schools, the Law Society and bar associations to support the study and go on to consider ways to greatly improve the situation was welcome and urgently needed.

Hickie presented the findings at the third annual Tristan Jepson Memorial Oration here Thursday.

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