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General Issue

Assessing the Effectiveness of Wellbeing Initiatives for Lawyers and Support Staff

Author

Suzanne Poynton, Janet Chan, Melissa Vogt, Anne Grunseit and Jasmine Bruce

This article reports on the findings of a study on the use and effectiveness of wellbeing initiatives implemented by a large public sector legal service organisation in Australia. The study, which was conducted from 2011 to 2015, employed a mixed-methods approach, consisting of three waves of staff surveys, interviews with key informants and staff, and workplace observation. The article considers the drivers of work stress, the impact of the introduction of certain initiatives on the mental health and wellbeing outcomes of participants, and participants’ perceptions of the characteristics necessary for an effective intervention and, more broadly, a supportive work environment. In doing so, the article seeks to inform a more general understanding of the prospects and limitations of wellbeing initiatives for addressing mental health and stress issues in the legal profession.

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