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, clerks and chambers’ staff.

Get support

Close

Search

Mental Health Awareness Week: Wellbeing at the Bar Blog

Mental Health Awareness Week: Wellbeing at the Bar

Everyone at some point in their lives will experience low points and challenges.  The stigma associated with mental health is unjust because poor health can occur in any part of our body and we don’t have the same negative associations with a broken leg or arm after a fall!

As barristers we work with our brains, so normalizing mental good health, associated with optimizing our performance and understanding the difference that pressure and stress can have on our brain and functioning, has been a key message with the work and resources our Working Group has created. (see Dr Bill Mitchell)

Being a point of contact listed on the WATB website has enabled me and many of our Working Group members to signpost the profession – whether clerks, Heads of Chambers or concerned colleagues – to a step-by-step process using the materials. From encouragement and guidance on how to ‘have’ the conversation with someone you’re concerned about, to appreciating the problem and symptoms that a person has reported via the fact sheets. Acceptance, insight and practical solutions via the info and awareness on the website with support at the centre was reported to me as a ‘game changer’ for those experiencing and supporting others with challenges.  Our work has also helped Heads of Chambers and clerks with ethical considerations and concerns in understanding how to support or when to report professional conduct issues from behavioural actions.  This has improved dialogue and the fears that many have had about confronting issues with members or reporting reasonable adjustments required from a barrister to manage their work, life and practice development.

Building a resilient Bar and retaining the quality, excellence and diversity of our collegiate group is vital to the future of our profession. The policies developed as good practice, led and shared by Specialist Bar Associations, the Inns, and the Circuits and shared in the ‘policy and practice’ section of the Wellbeing at the Bar website have helped many sets of chambers to adopt these policies, adapt their working practices, evaluate the impact of the working lives of their practitioners and consider supportive professional solutions. Continuing Education & Training programs within the profession now include greater awareness within practice management of the responsibilities of sleep, diet, exercise and recovery for the resilient lawyer to ‘survive and thrive’ amongst the reality of the ‘trials and tribulations’ of life at the Bar.

Olympians ensure their mental & physical physique is at peak performance and business acumen have long used the knowledge and skills of psychology within human behaviour and traits for leadership and management to understand efficacy and success; so drawing upon medical science, sharing life experiences and improving our health, wellbeing and performance for positive mental health should be celebrated by everyone every day.  Please embrace Mental Health Awareness Week to self-reflect, support the initiatives and encourage others to do so.

Rachel Spearing, Co-Founder and Chair of the Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group.