Skip to content

I need help

Help for barristers

Barristers inherently face very specific challenges on a daily basis. If you need some help click on support to find contact details and advice on seeking support.

Get help

Help for clerks and staff

The professional lives of clerks and chambers’ staff include many potential stressors. If you don’t know how to broach an issue, want advice on your options.

Get help

Help for students and pupils

These resources have been designed specifically for those who have completed their BPTC and for pupils up to tenancy.

Get help


Our vision

Find out what Wellbeing at the Bar aims to achieve.

Read more

Policy & practice

Guidance on how to introduce wellbeing policies and initiatives and on tackling a wellbeing issue in chambers.

Read more

Media pack

Logos and banners to help you to promote wellbeing.

Read more

Case studies

Examples of successful wellbeing initiatives adopted by chambers, Specialist Bar Associations and the Inns of Court.

Read more


Support for barristers

Who to talk to, how to get help in coping with the pressures and demands of life at the Bar.

Get support

Support for clerks and staff

Who to talk to and how to get help, resources are for clerks and staff themselves.

Get support

Support for students and pupils

Who to talk to and how to get help for those who have completed their BPTC and for pupils up to tenancy.

Get support

Assistance programme

The confidential 24/7 helpline with access to counselling for barristers, pupils, clerks and chambers’ staff.

Get support



Chambers’ organisational structures and working practices can make wellbeing issues harder to spot

Joanna Chatterton (pictured below) of Fox Williams LLP  explains how Chambers’ organisational structures can mask wellbeing issues. 

joanna-chattertonThe launch of the invaluable portal is a significant step towards removing the stigma associated with mental health at the Bar and towards encouraging chambers, their members and staff to tackle this challenging issue. The fact that calls to LawCare from the Bar have risen from 11% of LawCare calls in 2014 to 19% in 2015 indicates that the Wellbeing at the Bar initiative to encourage acknowledgement and openness around mental health is really working. Whether or not you think opening this particular Pandora’s box is a positive step, the fact is that if these issues are being talked about, there will be a growing expectation that chambers will actively look to provide an appropriate framework for mental health problems to be prevented and, if prevention is not possible, appropriately managed, with members and staff properly supported.

In our experience, however, the organisational structure and working practices common to most sets of chambers can make wellbeing issues difficult to spot, challenging to manage and an area of considerable risk.

We recently identified some of these challenges at an event run by the LPMA aimed at equipping chambers to understand the legal implications if wellbeing is not appropriately managed.

These are not easy challenges to overcome and whilst one-off initiatives such as running clubs, mindfulness classes and wellbeing checks really can make a difference to some aspects, what will really start to change things is a strategic and holistic approach to mental wellbeing, which includes:

Developing a programme which aims to prevent mental health problems by introducing measures which address all of the 5 drivers of mental health wellbeing:

  • Take Notice
  • Be Active
  • Connect
  • Learn
  • Give

Steps to create and encourage a culture of openness and collaboration to support colleagues in need, for example through training and awareness raising; and
Provides a framework for chambers for the effective management problems when they arise which balances the interests of the individual and that of chambers as a whole in terms of risk management.

This might seem a big mountain to climb especially in smaller sets with limited resources but that’s where the portal comes into play and provides an invaluable source of ideas and help.

However, it seems to us that whatever the size and resources of your chambers, progress will not be made to tackle this important issue, unless a genuine focus is given to it, unless someone or a few within chambers are prepared to really lead, drive and keep alive the agenda and unless there is vocal buy-in and support from the Head(s) of Chambers, other senior members and staff.

Joanna Chatterton, Partner for and on behalf of Fox Williams LLP, Solicitors

Seminars & Events