The Bar Council, in collaboration with the Inns of Court and Institute of Barristers’ Clerks (IBC) have launched a dedicated website for the Wellbeing at the Bar initiative (www.wellbeingatthebar.co.uk).
The launch of Wellbeing at the Bar is the result of an outstanding response from over 2,500 barristers to the Bar Council’s survey in 2014. The survey results and subsequent report highlighted the challenges faced the Bar in relation to mental health and wellbeing.
This website is designed to provide support, advice and best practice to barristers, clerks and chambers on wellbeing and mental health issues. This support and advice is communicated via different mediums such as videos, podcasts, animations and downloadable packs.
Aside from the practical information available on the website, ‘Wellbeing at the Bar’ also provides an up-to-date listing of wellbeing events, and contact information for barristers, clerks and Chambers in need of help and advice on matters concerning wellbeing.
Chairman of the Young Bar, Louisa Nye, said at the Young Bar and Annual Bar Conference 2016: “Young barristers are under increased pressure and this is why I welcome the work which the Bar Council and others have been doing in relation to wellbeing. Through this work, we can dispel the stigma that prevents so many people from asking for help. And we can help others to understand what they can do to assist those in difficulty.”
The website is the product of a working group, which was made up of members of the profession, representatives from each Circuit, SBA, the Inns of Court and the IBC. The Young Barristers’ Committee (the “YBC”) were involved throughout the planning and implementation stages of the website’s creation, and are proud that the end product reflects the needs of the profession, and acts as an effective response to the survey results.
Noting the invaluable resource that the Young Bar Hub and Toolkit, and the dedicated Twitter account has become for young barristers, the YBC were keen on the idea of creating an online resource to support the wellbeing needs of the profession. Wellbeing at the Bar can be accessed at any time, from anywhere.
The YBC are committed to this initiative, and will be dedicating its final seminar of the year to ‘Wellbeing and Work/Life balance for the Young Bar’. This seminar, based on the Young Bar Toolkit, will be held in St Philip’s Chambers, Birmingham on Wednesday 16 November. The seminar will feature a walk-through of the new online portal by Rachel Spearing, Chair of the Wellbeing at the Bar working group, and advice from our guest speaker, Linda Singer, an independent trainer and lecturer in applied Psychology. Tickets are available here.
For further information about the above, please feel free to contact the Young Barristers’ Committee via email on YBC@BarCouncil.org.uk.