Judges occupy a unique and powerful force within the legal profession. They see lawyers in action and can quickly identify an attorney who may be impaired. Judges are also among the few who are positioned to help other judges who may be challenged by substance use and mental health disorders. As with lawyers, FLA provides support and resources for judges in crisis. Reach out to the Florida Judicial Wellness Program at 1-888-972-4040 or ABA's National Helpline for Judges Helping Judges at 1-800-219-6474 for jurists who are seeking help for themselves or other judges. All communications are confidential by statute.
In an effort to assist their fellow colleagues who refrain from seeking help due to concerns of confidentiality, judges from around the state with extensive drug and mental health court experience, have formed a committee with other experts to develop the Florida Judicial Wellness Program. The design of FJWP is exclusively for judges and while the Florida Lawyers Assistance assists with some of the administrative components, FJWP will operate independent of the Florida Lawyers Assistance Program. Its purpose is to assist judges seeking help with mental health and emotional disorders, as well as substance abuse or other addictive behaviors. The program will operate as the central point of contact for all Florida judges to obtain confidential support and referral services. It will include the “judges helping judges” component with judges in recovery serving as mentors for those seeking help, guidance or sponsorship. All FJWP services will be free of charge and will allow judges who participate voluntarily to maintain complete anonymity.