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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.

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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.

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Our vision

Find out what Wellbeing at the Bar aims to achieve.

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Policy & practice

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

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Media pack

Logos and banners to help you to promote wellbeing.

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Case studies

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

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9 St John Street

9 St John Street recognises the importance of providing a positive and supportive working environment for barristers and staff.

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

Chambers is a busy environment, and this can have an adverse effect on staff and members mental health.

9 St John Street took action, having become increasingly conscious of the need to promote wellbeing within chambers.

What did Chambers do?

Governance

9 St John’s Street established a Wellbeing Committee. The Committee consists of members of staff and barristers of different levels of seniority and legal specialities. The diversity of the group enhances the Committee’s ability to empathise with different stresses faced by members of staff and members of chambers. Members of the Committee have familiarised themselves with the material on the Bar Council’s wellbeing website so they could act as wellbeing leaders and provide support to others in chambers in confidence.
Policy

Chambers devised a Wellbeing Policy using the Bar Council guidance. Chambers circulated the Policy to all members of staff and chambers.

Education

Chambers sends regular reminders on the Wellbeing Policy to everyone, and of the support available via the Wellbeing Committee.

Other activity:

In addition, chambers has:

  • Made available a telephone Helpline to provide for confidential counselling to individuals
  • Organised regular meet ups in chambers (Friday evenings) and/or a virtual meet up via video conferencing during the COVID 19 lockdown
  • Organised a walk with members of chambers and staff with their family and their pets (organised by the Senior Clerk)

What were the results?

The steps taken by chambers has started a dialogue on wellbeing and highlighted the need to create and maintain a supportive workplace.

The acknowledgement that individuals should prioritise a work/life balance has been welcomed and activity has created a more collegiate atmosphere.

“We are delighted to award 9 St John’s Street their Certificate of Recognition for wellbeing. In addition to having got the basics in place – their committee, a policy and support for those who need help – it is great to see the steps taken to keep members and staff in touch during the current pandemic”

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.

Do not:

  • There are no DON’Ts to ensuring your workplace is a safe place for members of chambers and staff

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