Bree Buchanan | Stigma and Silence – Tackling the Legal Industry’s Mental Health Crisis

Bree BuchananBree Buchanan is a Senior Advisor at Krill Strategies, which improves lawyer well-being by reducing the impact of mental health issues and substance abuse in the legal profession. With a 30-year career as a litigator, lobbyist, law professor, and legal assistance program director, she was a Founding Co-chair of the National Task Force of Lawyer Well-Being and co-authored its report, The Path to Well-Being. 

Bree is a member of the Lawyer Well-Being Committee of the National Bar Association. From 2013-2018, she was the Director of the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program, where she worked with lawyers experiencing behavioral health issues and legal employers seeking resources and support for their staff. Bree frequently speaks for national and international law organizations and global law firms on lawyer well-being and impairment issues.

As the co-host of the Path to Well-Being in Law podcast, Bree shares her story of addiction recovery, and her writing has appeared in publications, including Law Practice Today and The American Lawyer. With a warm presentation style and engaging presence, she breaks the stigma and silence of mental health to tackle the crisis in the legal industry.

Google Podcast
Radio Public
Tune In

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Bree Buchanan’s trajectory from practicing law to focusing on lawyer well-being
  • How to overcome the stigma of sharing mental health struggles
  • Why younger lawyers experience mental health challenges more frequently 
  • Bree shares confidential mental health resources 
  • How can law firms encourage attorney well-being? 
  • The legal profession’s evolving approach to mental health
  • Raising awareness of substance abuse in the legal industry 

In this episode…

According to the ALM, 35% of lawyers feel detached and isolated, often leading to anxiety, depression, and substance abuse disorders. This is especially prevalent among younger attorneys, who must navigate steep learning curves and face pressure to exceed expectations. What resources can law firms offer to promote lawyers’ mental health and well-being?

With so much stigma surrounding mental health in the legal profession, many lawyers struggle to disclose their challenges. After experiencing burnout and alcoholism from a demanding career in law, Bree Buchanan became dedicated to sharing her experiences with others. Hearing stories from lawyers facing similar issues fosters connection and encouragement to seek help. Additionally, law firms can provide confidential employee assistance programs (EAP) with professional psychologists. However, reducing the pervasiveness of mental health issues in the legal profession requires easing work-hour expectations and motivating employees to take vacation time.

In today’s episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman welcomes her guest Bree Buchanan, a Senior Advisor at Krill Strategies, for a conversation about addressing the mental health crisis in the legal profession. Bree shares mental health resources promoting confidentiality, how to raise awareness of substance abuse in the industry, and the increased mental health epidemic among younger lawyers. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 Sponsor for this episode…

Today’s episode is brought to you by the Ignite Women’s Business Development Accelerator.

Ignite is an 8-month business development program created by women lawyers for women lawyers.

Ignite is not just a one-off seminar or a series of seminars. It’s a carefully designed business development program containing content coaching and a community of like-minded women who are committed to becoming rainmakers and supporting the retention and advancement of other women in the profession.

To learn more about Ignite, visit

Are You Ready To Thrive & Grow?