Victoria’s 2,000 practising barristers are being called upon to support an online survey to assess the health and wellbeing of their profession.
The ‘Wellbeing at the Victorian Bar’ survey, launched today by the Victorian Bar, and conducted with the assistance of the University of Portsmouth, will be used to build on support programs for its members.
"Supporting the health and wellbeing of our members is vitally important," Dr Matt Collins QC, President of the Victorian Bar said. "Working life as a barrister, whilst rewarding, can be a solitary experience. Barristers' work is often high pressure and stressful.
"We are calling on all barristers to complete the survey for the good of the profession, their colleagues, and themselves. We want a complete picture of our members' views, because it is only with a complete picture that we can make sure our support programs are optimally tailored.
"In our profession, general health and wellbeing, and mental health particularly, are rarely spoken about, yet within our community everyone can be affected by their own or their colleagues' poor health.
"The Victorian Bar has always supported the health and wellbeing of its members, through a range of formal and informal measures, and has been a national leader in understanding the stressors that affect members of the profession. This survey will build on our understanding of the prevalence of wellbeing issues in the profession and the contexts in which they occur."
The survey will be open for four weeks, with a report from the University of Portsmouth expected later this year.
"The ‘Wellbeing at the Victorian Bar’ survey is based on a similar survey conducted for the Bar of England and Wales in 2014. Following that survey, the Bar of England and Wales developed a health and wellbeing portal. We anticipate using our findings to develop similar support and education facilities for our members, in addition to the counselling and other support services already provided.
"Providing services to members to support and enhance their practices is one of the Victorian Bar’s strategic objectives, with a focus on mentoring, mental health and financial and business management services."