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Editorial: Wellbeing

Editorial: Wellbeing

By Adam Wakeling & Andrea De Souza


Mental illness happens. You have not failed if you develop a mental illness, just as you have not failed if you break a bone. An organisation has not failed just because it has employees with mental illnesses. Wellbeing means minimising the risk of mental illness. Working in a stressful job in an organisation with a dysfunctional culture increases the risk of mental illness. We need to identify and minimise these risks. Wellbeing is about more than mental illness. It’s not just mental health – we also want lawyers to be satisfied and engaged and continue to make a long-term contribution to the law. Wellbeing is about the design of our jobs. Exercise and managing stress are important, but we must also look to structural issues within the profession like billing models and organisational culture. Wellbeing makes commercial sense. It does not make commercial sense to lose staff through poor organisational culture, mismanagement of mental illness or simply low employee engagement. What should I do? Here are three things you can do: Get and show the Resilience@ Law DVD to see examples of senior Australian lawyers confronting mental illness. Encourage your organisation to adopt the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation Guidelines. They are backed by research and provide measurable standards. Circulate this edition of the YLJ to help educate the profession on wellbeing. ADAM WAKELING is a senior compliance adviser at State Trustees. ANDREA DE SOUZA specialises in medical law at Minter Ellison. They are co-chairs of the YL Editorial Committee.

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