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TJMF Psychological Wellbeing: Best Practice Guidelines

The AULSS is now a signatory to the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation Psychological Wellbeing: Best Practice Guidelines for the Legal Profession!

The Guidelines are intended to support those within the profession, including us Law Students, in raising awareness of mental health issues, and to assist leadership in understanding the initiatives and methods of management that help to create and maintain psychologically healthy and supportive workplaces, or in our instance, learning environments. We have become a signatory to the Guidelines in order to illustrate our renewed commitment to not only wellbeing initiatives, but initiatives in general which may enable us to provide support to our fellow law students, and to encourage the Law School to do the same. The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation (TJMF) acknowledges that Law Students are at even greater risk of suffering from a diagnosable psychological illness than practicing lawyers, with over half of us at a ‘high risk’, in comparison to one in three solicitors. In acknowledging this, they encourage us to do the same, and even more so, our faculty.

The framework is based upon 13 psychological factors which they acknowledge as relevant to the risk of suffering from a diagnosable psychological illness. These are as follows:

  1. Organisational culture
  2. Psychological and social support
  3. Clear leadership and expectations
  4. Civility and respect
  5. Psychological competencies and requirements
  6. Growth and development
  7. Recognition and reward
  8. Good involvement and influence by staff
  9. Workload management
  10. Engagement
  11. Balance
  12. Psychological Protection
  13. Protection of physical safety

Many of these Psychological Factors underpin a vast number of the initiatives that the AULSS already run, and is our hope that this increased guidance will enable us to better direct our activities to offer greater balance across the thirteen psychological factors. For example, we already aim to provide students with greater volunteer opportunities (a basic level implementation of PF10: Engagement), but the Guidelines suggest that not only is this important, but that we should also be offering greater recognition to those who do actively contribute to community service initiatives (an advanced level implementation of PF10). This is just one of the many ways that we plan to use the Guidelines in order to improve our awareness of the issues that truly impact our psychological wellbeing.

Click here to check out the guidelines for yourself!