As World Mental Health Day is recognised today (Tuesday 10th October 2017), organisations large and small are pledging their commitment to ensuring positive mental health within the workplace. Fortunately, the legal sphere is no exception. The Bar Council has proposed the introduction of a new measure to recognise efforts across the Bar in sustaining good mental health.
To mark the first anniversary of the Wellbeing at the Bar website, the Bar Council will introduce a Certificate of Recognition to recognise efforts made to promote wellbeing across the Bar. In line with the theme of One Bar at this year’s Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference, everyone - including chambers, Specialist Bar Associations, Circuits, Inns and organisations that employ barristers - will be able to apply. The Certificate will act as a beacon of good wellbeing practice at the Bar for those who receive it.
With over 100,000 hits in less than a year since its launch, the Wellbeing at the Bar (WATB) website, set up to provide wellbeing and mental health support tools for barristers and chambers, has been a resounding success for the profession. It shows the need for openness and acknowledgement when it comes to mental health, and aims to provide barristers and chambers’ personnel with the information and skills they need to stay well. It also supports members of the profession through difficulties that affect their professional life and helps those responsible for or who are supporting those in difficulty or crisis.
Applicants with a wellbeing policy or practice, who are able to demonstrate their commitment to promoting wellbeing, will be eligible to receive a Certificate of Recognition. The application should contain evidence of recent initiatives and programmes; these may include (but are not limited to) education and training, mentoring schemes and/or other support mechanisms. Applicants should be prepared to share their initiative on the WATB website to assist others seeking to develop ideas and good practice.
The application deadline is Friday 13 October 2017, and applications should be emailed to SMercer@BarCouncil.org.uk . Please see the guidance document for further information. For the application form, click here.