The Bar Council has extended its ‘wellbeing’ initiative - originally set up to support barristers who may suffer from mental health problems - to include students.
Aspiring barristers can now get support from online resources created by the Bar Council’s Wellbeing at the Bar working group.
The resources offer guidance on personal wellbeing issues, including stress, panic attacks and depression, as well some triggered by workplace problems – for example, bullying and becoming overwhelmed with work.
The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, which specialises in young people’s mental health, helped devise the resources.
It marks an extension of the Wellbeing at the Bar initiative launched at last year’s Bar Conference.
Sam Mercer, head of equality, diversity & CSR at the Bar Council, said: ‘The Bar Council and the Inns of Court recognise the unique challenges faced by those applying for pupillage and pupils themselves, and the wellbeing issues that commonly arise as a result. We felt there was a particular gap in support for those that had completed their BPTC but not yet achieve pupillage – particularly considering the pressure and level of competition often experienced by individuals seeking to secure their professional futures.’
Obtaining pupillage is fiercely compeitive. Earlier this year, the Bar Standards Board revealed that more than 60% of students who completed the BPTC failed to get pupillage. Figures covering three academic years (2012-2015) showed that just 39% of bar professional training course graduates went on to a pupillage.