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

Resources

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

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

Close

Search

Monckton Chambers

This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing a wellbeing policy, appointing wellbeing officers, promoting use of an assistance programme and encouraging mental health training.

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

Monckton Chambers enjoys a reputation of being a friendly and supportive set and became increasingly conscious of the need to promote wellbeing to its members.

As a Chambers, they have had direct experience of individuals with wellbeing issues.  They also had concerns that some individuals had wellbeing issues but were unable to acknowledge or address them.

In addition, Monckton Chambers are a younger set than they used to be. This means they have many members and staff who face the pressure of balancing childcare and professional responsibilities.

 

 

 

Chambers wanted to improve the support mechanisms that were already in place.

Monckton considered it essential to make wellbeing an integral part of Chambers’ ethos and culture.  Their primary objective was to ensure that Members, staff and pupils were healthy, happy and felt supported by Chambers.

They also considered additional benefits associated with a focus on wellbeing, including: attracting and retaining staff and Members; reducing absences; and reputational benefits for Chambers as an employer.

 

 

What did Chambers do?

Wellbeing is prioritised and discussed openly at the Management Committee and in chambers meetings. Monckton Chambers raised the importance of wellbeing at its annual meeting to get “buy in” and encourage individual engagement.

Leadership/Management:

Chambers reviewed practices from other Chambers and professions for best practice ideas and then:

  1. appointed a Wellbeing Officer; and
  2. implemented a Wellbeing Policy.

In addition, Monckton:

Enhanced existing support mechanisms in place, such as: Annual Practice Review meetings with the clerks; support for flexible working; embedding the culture of the clerks ‘offering’ work rather than ‘imposing’ it.

In instances where a Member has struggled with private pressures and/or their workload, a package of appropriate, individually-tailored measures have been devised (which can include compassionate leave, financial support in the form of a rent holiday, help from the clerks with returning briefs, active diary management in conjunction with the clerks to ensure adequate breaks and to avoid diary overload).

 

Assistance Programme:

Chambers subscribed to Health Assured 24/7 for the benefit of all Members, staff and pupils. Health Assured offer a confidential helpline along with useful webinars, an E-hub app and an online portal.

Wellbeing training:

  • This Autumn, Chambers is offering Stress Resilience Training for all Members and staff by an external consultant; and
  • Training a Mental Health First Aider.

Other activities include:

  • Regular, informal get togethers in Chambers, alternating afternoon tea and cake and pizza lunches.
  • Children’s Christmas Party.

What were the results?

  • The social events, tea, lunch, Christmas parties, go a long way to generating a happy, supportive culture.
  • Individuals have felt able to raise specific wellbeing issues with the Chambers Administrator and Senior Clerk.
  • People talk more freely and openly about stress and pressure and share tips on how to manage workloads.

“Clearly a well thought out approach to wellbeing. We are particularly pleased to see measures put in place to support members who need assistance, as well as the resilience training offered widely across chambers, backed up by a trained wellbeing first-aider.”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

Tips

    1. Facilitate participation in wellbeing initiatives by making them free, convenient and regular.  Think about alternatives to evening events, which are inconvenient for people with childcare responsibilities.
    2. This is an innovative and dynamic area: keep an eye on wellbeing developments in the profession and review your own wellbeing practices regularly to see whether they can be further improved.
    3. Offer rather than impose: some individuals prefer to deal with wellbeing issues privately and we have had to manage carefully any risk of intrusion.

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