Practising well is very important for all of us in the legal profession. That is why I was so pleased to sign, on behalf of the Law Society, a Memorandum of Understanding with Vitality Works, bringing to lawyers a third Practising Well partnership.
The relationship with Vitality Works is an important component in our Practising Well development. We have focused on providing support and resources to assist the legal profession with managing wellness issues in three key areas: healthy mind, healthy practice, and healthy body. Our MoU with Vitality Works allows us to provide practical resources to assist lawyers to stay healthy.
A key benefit for lawyers is free access to Vitality Works’ Wellbeing 360. This is a comprehensive tool to assess a person’s wellbeing.
Wellbeing 360 takes participants through a comprehensive health questionnaire and then creates a confidential personal report. This includes suggestions on how to build a healthier lifestyle. The report gives lawyers a score out of 100 for four areas: physical, mental, work, and social wellbeing.
I’ve worked through Wellbeing 360 myself and found it was easy to use and very useful in highlighting things I need to consider, along with helpful suggestions.
One of the aspects I particularly liked about Wellbeing 360 is that it is a holistic programme. It really does look 360, so it’s not just about your physical and mental wellbeing. It also looks at work and social wellbeing, which in the legal profession is so important in terms of our ability to be well, healthy and fully functioning in our demanding environment.
If you look at your report, for example, a good half of what it is assessing is your work and social wellbeing.
We are already aware of and know about many things relating to our physical and mental wellbeing. It’s easy to know I’m not sleeping enough or I’m not doing enough exercise, or I’m eating too much junk food or I’m drinking too much. We often know them but the extent to which we do something about them depends on motivation and a number of other factors. However, I don’t know that we really turn our minds sufficiently to our work health or social health. Often these are areas that we are perhaps not as aware of or take as much care with.
Our work and social health are hugely important, and the reason that Wellbeing 360 gives you an assessment in these areas is that they significantly impact your physical and mental health.
Even the questions in the assessment tool asked got me thinking. I found the whole process quite helpful, not just the report at the end. The questions themselves were quite insightful.
Wellbeing 360 will be a starting point for some lawyers to identify areas in which they can improve their health.
As the Law Society and Vitality Works are providing this resource free to you, I would encourage you all to make the most of this opportunity.
As you know, Practising Well aims to provide access to support and resources right across the fields of mental, physical and business health. We also have partnerships in place with Business Mentors and Lifeline Counselling, as well as having a number of other supporting groups and resources.
At its heart, Practising Well is about us providing collegial support and each one of us is responsible for that. No one should be left to struggle on their own. The Practising Well resources are aimed at helping us all to support one another.
You can access Practising Well resources through a newly refreshed section of our website, which has just gone live, at www.lawsociety.org.nz/practising-well.