Pre-Pupillage Wellbeing Assistance Programme

Supporting the health and wellbeing of members

There has been a wide range of new research emerging from law schools around the world articulating the impact to those studying law and the challenges of their journeys through University and into the legal profession. Anecdotally at the Inn and from our own recent experiences, the conversations that we have been encouraging with regards to mental health and wellbeing through recent events have given rise to a number of individuals seeking assistance via the Education & Training Department. The numbers of student members experiencing distress post-BPTC is self-evident – and their challenges range from the availability of pupillages and the five year limit for them to complete their training, to other issues such as financial pressures.

The four Inns of Court have jointly launched a free and confidential Pre-Pupillage Wellbeing Assistance Programme for our members who have completed the Bar course within the last five years and are seeking pupillage. It is aimed at helping you to deal with personal and professional problems that could be affecting your home life or work life, health and wellbeing.

The Assistance Programme is provided by Health Assured, who also operate the Wellbeing at the Bar Assistance Programme for self-employed barristers.

Who can use the Assistance Programme?

The Assistance Programme is designed for members of the Inn who have completed the BPTC/Bar Course within the last five years, whether or not you have been Called to the Bar, and before you have started pupillage.

If you are currently undertaking the BPTC/Bar Course, you will have access to wellbeing support services through your course providers and it is recommended that you approach these services in the first instance. If there are exceptional circumstances where you are unable or unwilling to access your student services, please contact the Inn’s Assistance Programme administrator, Helen Gaskell (details below).

Pupils and members of the self-employed Bar will have access to the Wellbeing at the Bar Assistance Programme. Members of the Employed Bar will be covered by your own employers’ Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs).

What services does the Assistance Programme provide?

This Assistance Programme is intended for those in immediate need. The following services can be accessed as and when support is needed:

  • Online health and wellbeing resources, including webinars, mini-health checks and four-week self-help programmes covering topics such as sleep, smoking cessation, hydration and healthy eating.
  • A comprehensive telephone helpline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to provide support on a wide range of issues, including counselling and emotional support; family issues; bereavement; stress related conditions; and money management and debt support.
  • Structured counselling (where possible), including face-to-face, telephone and online video counselling. In circumstances where structured counselling is recommended by Health Assured telephone helpline advisors, it is available through Health Assured as short-term, solution-focused structured therapy. Unfortunately, there are some limits we have had to place on the amount of counselling available. You may wish to see your GP, particularly if you may need ongoing counselling support.