The Bar leads the way on wellbeing with launch of portal
15 October 2016
The Bar Council has teamed up with the Inns of Court and
Institute of Barristers' Clerks (IBC) to launch the Wellbeing at
the Bar Portal www.wellbeingatthebar.co.uk
- a website to specifically provide support and best practice to
barristers, clerks and chambers on wellbeing and mental health
The new portal is geared towards giving barristers, clerks and
chambers staff access to guidance, tips, support and contacts for
help on matters concerning wellbeing. Information on wellbeing
events, real-life stories from professionals who share their
experiences, sample chambers' wellbeing policies and activities and
useful contact numbers for those needing advice or help on a
wellbeing or mental health matter are just some of the resources on
The launch of the Wellbeing at the Bar portal comes after a Bar
Council survey in 2014 saw more than 2500 barristers respond. The
survey results and subsequent
report highlighted the challenges some members of the Bar were
facing in their work in relation to mental health. Following the
survey, the Bar Council vowed to act and provide more support to
barristers and chambers.
Chairman of the Bar, Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC, said: "Every
piece of content on the Wellbeing at the Bar portal is about
sharing best practice for dealing with the stresses and strains of
practice and ensuring that support is available to all to meet the
challenges of life at the Bar. The website provides information and
skills to help barristers and those they work with to stay
well. Our main aim in producing and promoting this new portal is to
encourage barristers, clerks and others to recognise and address
the negative effects of working in a high pressure environment at
an early stage, before they risk getting out of hand.
Equally, we hope that those already in need of help will use this
website as a first port of call for getting help."
The website is the product of a working group specifically
compiled to reflect the entire profession, Inns of Court and IBC.
Working together they have sought to reflect and respond to the
survey results on behalf of their members.
Rachel Spearing, barrister and Co-Founder of the Wellbeing at
the Bar initiative, said: "Until a couple of years ago, wellbeing
and mental health were not talked about by the profession. It was
seen as a sign of weakness, though we all knew it was an issue.
Thanks to the survey in 2014, the subsequent report and efforts
right across the Bar to raise this as an issue of high importance
which can impact on our performance as barristers, wellbeing and
mental health now loom large on the Bar's and the wider legal
"Putting this support online means anyone, at any time can
go on the portal from anywhere to access what they need. But this
website is only the beginning. The Portal will evolve with more
resources over time. We now want the Bar to give us feedback as
well as take important advice from it. We are also planning further
initiatives, such as wellbeing training and more."
In addition to the Portal, the Inns of Court, Circuit and SBAs
as well as individual chambers have been proactive on wellbeing.
Notes to Editors
Further information is available from the Bar Council Press
Office on 020 7222 2525 and Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.
The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It
The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory
Fair access to justice for all
The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across
the profession, and
The development of business opportunities for barristers at home
The General Council of the Bar is the Approved
Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its
regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards