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Doughty Street

This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing a wellbeing policy, increasing awareness of wellbeing, developing resilience training schemes  and/or increasing awareness of wellbeing.

Doughty Street Chambers has introduced a holistic wellbeing strategy under the leadership of its Equalities Team, now called its Equalities and Wellbeing Team.

The strategy seeks to encourage greater awareness of one’s own wellbeing, and an increased awareness of the wellbeing of others.

They wanted to recognise that managing wellbeing is as much about prevention as it is about cure. They therefore sought to make sure that while barristers or staff who needed professional support had proper access to it, they also introduced a range of other activities designed to support good mental health and improve resilience.

What was the business (other case) for action?

Looking out for one’s mental health and that of others is the right thing to do, but in business terms research tells us that barristers and staff who are more mindful, and more able to manage “good stress”, are more productive.

What did the Chambers do?

A central part of the strategy is mindfulness training which will be run in small groups, over 4 weeks.

In addition, Doughty Street has arranged on-site massage sessions for barristers and staff, and plans to introduce yoga classes and nutrition courses.

Doughty Street sees its existing mentoring programme as an important element in resilience, and mental health first aid, as well as generating benefits in professional development and equality terms.

Finally Doughty Street has partnered with a mental health clinic for those who may need professional help, and has signposted members and staff to the other resources available such as LawCare and Inn-sponsored activities.

What were the results?

As their programme is still being rolled out, it is too soon to see all the results of it. But what they can see so far is that the fact that it is happening is sending a strong message to barristers and staff that wellbeing is important and should be talked about.

They have had incredibly positive feedback for the work we are doing. They have also noticed already that people are coming to the Wellbeing team to express concerns about others in greater numbers than they did before, and so they think the message is getting through.

Tips

  • They conducted a survey to establish the likely take up for various initiatives before they started them and to ask people for their own ideas
  • They did a presentation about the strategy at our bi-annual all barristers’ evening which they filmed so that those not there, including staff, could watch it later.
  • They believe that these initiatives helped improve “buy in” for the strategy. They also may in future seek a financial contribution from those who participate in the activities.

The information and resource packs on this website are designed to help you and your colleagues to work as a community for better wellbeing and professional resilience. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing please get in touch.


Get in touch Policy & practice

It can be difficult to make a living from law and it can be pressurised and demanding. Competition and an adversarial approach to everything can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage these stressors, make emotionally informed, wise professional decisions and thrive in your chosen profession.

A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’

Psychological wellbeing within the profession is rarely spoken about