Large numbers of barristers have poor mental health


New mental stats from the Bar Council highlight wellbeing issues in the legal sector

A recent study by The Bar Council has shown that 34.9% respondents of a survey (distributed to the whole population of UK practicing barristers), feel “down or in low spirits”. There’s even 23.7% who have reported low psychological wellbeing. This truly confirms that there’s still lots of work to be done when it comes to improving and supporting the mental health of barristers across the county.

But why might large numbers of barristers be experiencing poor mental health?

The intense workloads and long working hours can be hard to manage, eventually grinding down their mental health and increasing stress and burnout levels rapidly. According to The Bar Council’s latest report, 31.4% of barristers said that they weren’t managing their workloads well, proving that this is a contributing factor to poor mental health within the law community.

Working around the clock can be hard for anyone, but when it’s combined with emotionally tense situations and distressing information, it can be too much to handle alone. That’s why it’s imperative that there’s mental health support available in the workplace of law; one of the UK’s top KCs is in agreement as they shared insight into why.

Barristers shouldn’t be facing these hardships alone, and having the correct support in place can take some pressure off their shoulders. There’s a huge desire to have this level of support available, and once help has hopefully been introduced, it ensures staff feel more comfortable or encouraged to seek assistance as it’s private and easier to access.

Mental health stigma can be difficult to overcome

For barristers, and many other people, stigma surrounding mental health is a big barrier. Introducing private help within the workplace - in any sector - means individuals don’t have to talk to a colleague or a manager, which helps reduce stigma and means they’ll be more likely to get support they need. It can often be the case that staff are uncomfortable talking to a mental health first aider who is also their colleague - with external support there’s no conflict of interest.

UKIM Occupational Health & Wellbeing is here to help

At UKIM Occupational Health & Wellbeing, we aim to raise the bar for legal excellence by tackling poor mental health though proactive, non-prohibitive and bespoke solutions, ensuring that working professionals are at their most healthy so that they’re happy and excelling in all areas of their lives.

How UKIM Occupational Health & Wellbeing can help:

  • Immediate Support: Support that goes beyond geographical boundaries ensuring that barristers receive the help they need.
  • Proactive Wellbeing Checks: Tailored wellbeing initiatives designed to meet the unique needs of a barrister's role and beyond.
  • Clinical Escalation: Instant assistance and intervention prioritising mental health and safety in times of critical need.
  • Psychological Expertise: From stress management to resilience building, as well as personalised guidance for optimal mental wellbeing.
  • Mental Wellbeing & Anxiety: Strategies to manage anxiety, alleviate stress and foster a positive mindset conducive to sustained professional excellence.
  • Presenteeism Management: Addressing challenges before they escalate, promoting a positive and resilient work environment.
  • Reducing Stigma: By fostering a culture of open dialogue, offering confidential counselling services and promoting mental health awareness.
  • Social Media Guidance: To manage online presence effectively, mitigate negativity and build a positive digital footprint.