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More Than a Bad Day: The Connection Between Legal and Mental Health

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The mental health crisis in the United States has grown increasingly concerning in the past several years. According to the American Psychiatric Association, at the end of 2022, 37% of Americans rated their mental health as only fair or poor, up 6% from the year before. And research from Mental Health America shows nearly 20% of adults in the United States, equivalent to almost 50 million people, are experiencing a mental illness.

With these staggering statistics, it’s easy to see how the mental health crisis has evolved over the years. And as anyone who has suffered with mental health issues before knows, periods of high stress can often make these health issues worse. So what happens to these individuals if, and when, they face a legal issue?

The connection between stress, mental health and legal issues

While many legal procedures are standard, like creating a will or having a document reviewed, some legal matters, like a divorce or home dispute, carry a lot of stress. Recent research from ARAG revealed the following data: 1

  • 85% of Americans have experienced a legal event in the past three years
  • 89% of consumers using an attorney without a legal plan were stressed when it came to knowing where to turn to get started in addressing their legal situation
  • 37% of consumers said handling their legal matter had a negative impact on their performance at work

The benefits of a legal insurance plan for mental health

When you enroll in a legal insurance plan where you work, you’re gaining access to a nationwide network of attorneys who can help reduce some of the stress you’re facing when going through a legal event. According to our research, individuals who had a legal insurance plan and hired an attorney experienced more positive emotions compared to consumers navigating a legal situation without a legal plan or attorney.1 ARAG members were also seven times more encouraged and supported when navigating a legal situation.1 And 41% of ARAG legal plan members were not stressed at all when it came to knowing where to turn to get started in addressing their situation.1

If you enroll in a legal insurance plan through ARAG, many of our plans include mental health related coverages, such as guardianship and conservatorship. With these coverages, it allows someone else to manage your finances or make legal decisions for you – which can be helpful in a mental health crisis.

As you look through your benefits lineup, consider enrolling in ARAG legal insurance. If a legal insurance plan isn’t available in your offering , ask your HR team to add it

1 ARAG Stress Research Study, October 2022.

Plan coverage may be unavailable, vary or be limited to a specific number of hours. For matters that aren’t covered and are not excluded, members may be able to receive 25% off network attorney fees. To view your plan-specific coverage details, visit or contact ARAG Customer Care.  

Limitations and exclusions apply. Depending upon a state’s regulations, ARAG’s legal insurance plan may be considered an insurance product or a service product. Insurance products are underwritten by ARAG Insurance Company of Des Moines, Iowa. Service products are provided by ARAG Services, LLC. This material is for illustrative purposes only and is not a contract. For terms, benefits or exclusions, contact us.


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