May 2014 Newsletter

Updates from the Field: Uncommon Counsel

Now that most of our law school partners have completed this academic year with final exams and graduation, Katherine Bender, PhD, our programming director, has focused her work on other Dave Nee Foundation opportunities.

D.C. Bar Presentation: At the end of April, Kate was part of a panel presentation held at the D.C. Bar ( for D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program volunteers. During the panel, Kate addressed practicing attorneys about warning signs of depression and suicide and how to appropriately intervene if someone is at risk. During the panel, a D.C. Bar volunteer bravely shared her own story and personal journey as an attorney with depression and attorney Carl Fleming, one of our Akin Gump pro bono partners, introduced the audience to some of the tenets of positive psychology as ways to enhance resiliency. The program was very well received and we have been invited to return to DC in July to offer a similar panel to the D.C. Bar Section members. We would like to thank Denise J. Perme, LICSW, Manager and Niki L. Irish, LICSW Senior Counselor, Lawyer Assistance Program, D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program for hosting us.

Training Institute for the Psychoanalytic Society in New York City: Kate also was invited this May to present to practicing mental health professionals at the Training Institute for the Psychoanalytic Society in New York City. The panel was titled “Mental Health Challenges in our Competitive Culture: Expert Insights and Innovative Interventions.” Kate shared mental health statistics concerning the legal profession and offered insight into why those in this profession are more at risk for depression and suicide. Kate also offered clinical best practices for suicide risk assessment and management. The Dave Nee Foundation was honored to be part of a such a distinguished panel that included:

Victor Schwartz, MD: Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine; Medical Director, Jed Foundation ( .

Stanley Teitelbaum, Ph.D: Postgraduate Center for Mental Health and Training Institute for Mental Health; Author: Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols; Athletes who Indulge their Dark Side; Illusion and Disillusionment.

Linda Villella: Founder, Executive Director, Miami City Ballet School; Canadian National Figure Skating Champion; Competitor, World Olympic Figure Skating Teams.

University of Pennsylvania and MAPP: As the semester wound down for many of our law school partners, the semester also came to a close for the Dave Nee Foundation interns from The University of Pennsylvania’s Masters of Applied Positive Psychology Program (MAPP). These students have worked all semester familiarizing themselves with the work of the Dave Nee Foundation, even attending a West Coast Uncommon Counsel presentation. Their semester’s project entailed creating a wellness booster kit based on evidence-based positive psychology practices that we will include in future Uncommon Counsel presentations. It was a pleasure to work with these students and we thank our advisory committee member, Dan Bowling and the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania for introducing us to the program.

Uncommon Counsel 2013-14 Year-end Statistics: Now that our 2013-14 Uncommon Counsel law school presentations have ended, we are analyzing the responses on the completed feedback forms we have from each school. A full report is forthcoming. As a quick summary, in the academic year 2013-2014, the Dave Nee Foundation made 41 Uncommon Counsel presentations at 35 law schools throughout the United States. Thirty schools participated in our surveys with the following results:
97% of attendees agreed or strongly agreed with the following statement: “The information I learned today will help me to recognize symptoms of depression.”

95% of attendees agreed or strongly agreed with the following statement: “As a result of the presentation today, I can identify three warning signs of suicide.”

Schedule your 2014-15 Uncommon Counsel Presentation Today: With the 2013-14 academic year behind us, we are currently planning our 2014-15 law school presentation calendar. We have already been contacted by law schools who have not yet had an Uncommon Counsel presentation but are eager to host one. Finally, if you are interested or intend to have an Uncommon Counsel presentation at your school this fall, please contact Kate at

We are excited that California’s State Bar Association contacted us to partner and offer a mental health CLE in early September. We thank MN Lawyer’s Concerned for Lawyers’ for being the first state bar program to host the Dave Nee Foundation.

Thank you, Uncommon Counsel Regional Sponsors
Mr. Davidson T. Gordon, Mr. & Mrs. Amit Shashank, and Mr. & Mrs. John W. Van Dyke sponsored Uncommon Counsel in the Midwest.
Mr. & Mrs. Owen Nee sponsored Uncommon Counsel on the West Coast.
Mr. & Mrs. Richard Vermillion sponsored Uncommon Counsel in Texas.
Elizabeth J. Kanter and Gerry, Rosie & Brian Reidy sponsored Uncommon Counsel in the South.

We deeply appreciate your commitment to our work. If you are interested in sponsoring an Uncommon Counsel presentation, please contact Rachael Barrett at

Sephora and the Dave Nee Foundation

Sephora Values Inside Out Campaign: The Values Inside Out Program matches individual Sephora USA, Inc. (“Sephora”) stores with local nonprofits.

Each store had the opportunity to select a nonprofit they feel passionate about and help by supporting fund raising, increasing awareness, and volunteering to help that organization fulfill its individual goals over the course of 2014.

The Dave Nee Foundation is so pleased to have been chosen as a charity of choice for Sephora’s Values Inside Out 2014 Campaign and to be working with Sephora’s Soho NYC store at 555 Broadway, New York, NY.

Upcoming Events

Trivia Nights! This year, our Third Annual Trivia Night in Washington DC and our Fourth Annual Trivia Night Contest in New York City are shaping up to be fun and lively evenings out for summer associates from New York and DC’s biggest firms. All proceeds go to support the Dave Nee Foundation’s Uncommon Counsel Program and all participants will have a fun night out with great prizes. No limit to number of sponsored teams! If you are interested in having your firm sponsor a team, please contact Rachael Barrett at (

Our Washington, DC event will be held on July 7th and our New York City event will be held on July 29th.

Annual Gala! Save the Date coming soon with information on sponsorship and ticket purchases.
A Dave Nee Foundation Special Fundraiser: A Big Dave Nee Foundation “Thank You!” to Susan Rosenthal who is raising money for us! This September, Susan is walking the Philadelphia Rock & Roll half marathon. Her goal is to raise $1,000 for the Dave Nee Foundation with your help. Go here to support Susan and the Dave Nee Foundation ( . Thank you Susan and to all who have donated!
Attorneys and Wellness around the Globe: The Australian nonprofit, The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation (TJMF) was founded in the aftermath of 26-year-old attorney’s Tristan Jepson death by suicide in 2004. TJMF is leading the way in Australia in promoting good mental health in the legal community. This past spring, TMJF released: Psychological Wellbeing: Best Practice Guidelines for the Legal Profession”. The aim of the Guidelines is to assist legal organisations in creating psychologically healthy workplaces. You can check out the guidelines here ( .

A Note From Our President
People do not talk enough about depression and suicide. It is an issue that affects people of all backgrounds. It does not discriminate by gender, race, sexual orientation, education or income level. Anyone, from any background, can suffer from its debilitating effect.

Nearly 1 in 10 Americans suffer from depression.
Lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer from depression than non-lawyers.
Lawyers rank 5th in incidence of suicide by occupation.
On average, 80 Americans die by suicide every day.

The Dave Nee Foundation, comprised primarily of dedicated volunteers, works hard to reduce the stigma of depression and prevent suicide through its support of established organizations and its own direct advocacy.

Please consider making a donation today ( and support this valuable work.

Thank you,
Wynne Kelly
Board President

About the Dave Nee Foundation: The Dave Nee Foundation’s mission is to eliminate the stigma associated with depression and suicide by promoting and encouraging not only the diagnosis and treatment of depression among young adults, but also the education of young people, their families, and friends about the disease of depression.

We believe that a principal reason for the high suicide rate in the United States is a glaring lack of sufficiently candid discussion about, and early treatment of, depression. We hope to spread the message that depression and thoughts of harming oneself are common and that treatment for depressed and suicidal thoughts must become socially acceptable.