Health Recovery Program

Offering an alternative to the discipline process by providing members with comprehensive healthcare treatment options to support them in the safe practice of law.

The Health Recovery Program enables lawyers to receive healthcare treatment and prevent practice problems when a health issue arises. The program offers a positive alternative to discipline where a lawyer’s conduct or competence issues are linked to health conditions, such as addiction, depression, or other mental health issues.

Focusing on support, rehabilitation and recovery.

Guiding Principles

  • Voluntary

    The lawyer must consent and be willing to engage in the process.

  • Confidential
    Participation is strictly confidential ~Information regarding the member’s participation in the program will only be shared on a need-to-know basis within the Law Society.
  • Public Interest

    The overriding consideration for referrals to the program and eligibility of a lawyer will be the public interest.

  • Without Risk

    Neither the lawyer nor the public is “worse off” if the lawyer opts for treatment. If the lawyer does not complete their treatment, their conduct matter may simply return to the discipline process.

Program Entry & Participation

Alternative to Disciplinary Process

  • A remedial option for lawyers who are facing complaints investigation, charges or a disciplinary proceeding for conduct related to health issues.
  • The Law Society has sole discretion to determine eligibility and may invite a lawyer to participate in the program in lieu of going through the discipline process.
  • Lawyer must accept all conditions and requirements associated with treatment.
    • completing the treatment plan
    • regular reporting from healthcare treatment provider
    • possible practice restrictions
  • Participation will only be shared on a need-to-know basis within the Law Society.

How does the Health Recovery Program (HRP)  differ from other Health & Wellness supports?

Treatment under the HRP is likely to be more intensive and lengthier than the short-term counselling services offered by Manitoba Blue Cross or the peer support services offered by Law(yer) Strong.

Law(yer) Strong consists of lawyer volunteers providing support to their colleagues in need. While these volunteers receive training, they are not healthcare professionals. By contrast, under the HRP, lawyers will be referred to healthcare professionals for treatment.

Participation in the Manitoba Blue Cross Employee Assistance Program or Law(yer) Strong is completely confidential and the Law Society will have no knowledge of a particular lawyer utilizing these services. However, because participation in the HRP is a remedial alternative to the discipline process, the lawyer’s participation will be shared within the Law Society on a need-to-know basis.

The cost of the Manitoba Blue Cross Employee Assistance Program is fully covered by the Law Society. Law(yer) Strong services are provided free of charge. Under the HRP, the Law Society will pay for any costs not covered by Manitoba Health for the preliminary medical assessments.

While it is anticipated that the cost for actual treatment as set out in a lawyer’s individual treatment plan will be covered by Manitoba Health, any costs not covered, if applicable, must be paid by the lawyer.


For more information or questions about participating in this program, please contact:

Elaine Kinchen  | Health Recovery Program Coordinator.