I’ve seen various mentions of the mental health impacts of investigators of child abuse, for example, but this article is a nice reminder that it’s not just investigators who are dealing with these kinds of traumatic stories every day:
Françoise Mathieu, a trauma expert with more than 20 years of experience as a mental health professional, says vicarious trauma, or secondary trauma, “refers to the stories that we are exposed to indirectly – in court or a client telling us a story, reading case notes, through the media or colleagues debriefing each other. “And all these indirect traumatic stories hitch a ride with us and sometimes they can really alter our sense of safety and our safety in the world,” she says.
Yes, the lawyers who work with these kinds of cases need to take care of their mental health as well. It’s only normal that dealing with these stories day after day is going to have an effect. Find ways to take care of your own mental health if this describes your work.