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Find out what Wellbeing at the Bar aims to achieve.

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

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

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2 Temple Gardens

2 Temple Gardens (2TG) is a well-established and reputable set. They recognised that the health and wellbeing of their members and staff was vital to their continuing success.

What was the ‘business’ (other case) for action?

2TG knew success in the profession can often come at a price, and that the pressures that members and staff can face may not have been addressed in the past. They have now sought to tackle this through their wellbeing work, and firmly believe that by supporting and encouraging people to live their lives well, they will create a better set. 2TG decided they want their members and staff to flourish – not to merely exist.

In determining their approach, they did not want to simply comply with what was required by law and regulation, but to go beyond these and also focus on their ethical and social responsibilities towards their people. 2TG wanted to support individuals by putting in place coping strategies to help reduce any adverse impacts that work pressures may have – both short and long-term.

They also felt a focus on wellbeing in Chambers would have a positive impact on their reputation both internally and externally.

What did Chambers do?

2TG established a Wellbeing Working Group, which was later renamed the ‘Wellbeing and Social Responsibility’ Working Group. The group comprises both members and staff which ensures that everyone’s interests are represented. Members of the group undertook Bar Council’s Mental Health Awareness training and two members have attended more in-depth training becoming Chambers’ Mental Health First Aiders. The Group meets to discuss initiatives and makes recommendations to the Board.

Initiatives introduced to date include:

  • Setting up an Employee Assistance Programme;
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing training;
  • a weekly jogging group;
  • weekly Chambers tea;
  • legal Charity events, e.g. Legal Bake off and Legal Walk;
  • in-house presentations carried out by mental health professionals; and
  • weekly ‘action plans’ and ‘action for happiness’ emails

What were the results?

There is now an increased awareness of Wellbeing and the stigma around asking for help is gradually being reduced.

Work/life balance is now on everyone’s radar and for those that are yet to take action, they have acknowledged they are now thinking about doing so.

“2 Temple Gardens is clearly committed to promoting wellbeing, having recognised it has not been given sufficient attention in the past. It is good to see a focus on the basics – creating mental health first aiders and putting support in place – as well as introducing initiatives like chambers tea, to encourage collegiality”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

Tips

Do:

  • Push forward with wellbeing even if you think members and staff are not interested as they may benefit from it without even realising it.
  • Have time for each other, listen and be kind.
  • Send individuals for Mental Health First Aid training. Initially it may be daunting, but those who undertake the training are far better placed to help others, not only during a crisis, but also when someone just needs to talk.

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