Profession embraces world first protocols

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One year on, Australasian Lawyer takes a look at the success of the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation’s psychological wellbeing guidelines for the legal profession.

Twelve months ago, the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation introduced a list of best practice guidelines, aimed at promoting psychological wellbeing in legal workplaces. 

“The Guidelines allow employers to effectively assess and address the 13 workplace factors known to have a powerful impact on organisational health, the health of individual employees, and the financial bottom line,” said Jeremy Hyman, TJMF board member and chair of the guidelines committee.

The factors covered by the protocols include employee engagement, workload management, psychological and social support, work life balance, and organisational culture. 

In the guidelines’ first year, over 100 firms and legal employers have signed up, committing to maintaining psychologically healthy and supportive workplaces. Signatories to the guidelines range from major firms to sole practitioners, in-house legal teams at major corporations to community legal centres, law faculties to law students’ societies.

For Hyman, the response from employers has been, “Nothing short of incredible. In less than one year, to have over 100 signatories that comprise all corners of the legal profession is way beyond our expectations.”

According to Hyman, the guidelines are about fostering and sharing ideas. “There isn’t an end point and no one is casting judgement,” he said.  “It is all about supporting anything positive that is occurring and sharing ideas.  We won’t cure debilitating anxiety and depression, but we can make a real difference in the workplace for those susceptible.  We are already seeing so many positive developments, firms are doing great things.”

Visit the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation website for more resources and information about the guidelines.