Reed Smith today announced that it is among the inaugural group of 13 law firms in the nation to pledge support for the American Bar Association’s (ABA) innovative campaign to improve the health and well-being of the nation’s lawyers, with a specific focus on alcohol and substance-use disorders and mental health issues. Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s Global Managing Partner, signed the seven-point pledge developed by the ABA’s Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession on behalf of the firm.

“We are proud to take a leadership role in this important initiative,” Thomas said. “We hope our commitment encourages other firms to participate in this campaign to raise awareness, work to reduce the incidence of substance use and mental health distress, and improve lawyer well-being. This effort provides the legal profession with a strong framework for changing the conversation about these important issues and finding real solutions.”

The ABA Campaign identifies seven core areas on which the signatories have agreed to focus. It also details concrete activities that law firms can take to achieve the Campaign’s goals. At Reed Smith, many of these are already underway.

The firm launched its Wellness Works initiative in January to promote, support and sustain the well-being of its lawyers, staff, and other employees worldwide through a suite of creative programming and special events focused on stress management, work-life balance, health habits, and health mindfulness. In addition to promoting physical fitness and positive health outcomes, the initiative provides resources to proactively address mental health and substance abuse issues by offering training and information on these topics, and developing and maintaining a supportive culture focused on these and other challenges employees may encounter.