Australia: Cooper Grace Ward signs on for psychological wellbeing
Last Updated: 14 October 2014

Cooper Grace Ward is pleased to announce that it has become a signatory to the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation's Best Practice Guidelines for Psychological Wellbeing.

The Guidelines are designed to assist legal organisations to create workplaces that fulfil each of the psychological factors identified by extensive research as critical to psychological health. The guidelines are a voluntary framework for legal organisations to utilise.

Managing partner Chris Ward said that Cooper Grace Ward was proud to be a signatory to the Guidelines as the firm shared many of the same values and already has in place initiatives to address the factors outlined in the Guidelines, which will continue to be refined.

'The Guidelines represent a step forward for the legal industry in terms tackling the issues of psychological ill-health that unfortunately are prevalent in our industry,' he said.

'By becoming signatories to the Guidelines, we are further demonstrating our commitment to putting psychological safety at the heart of our organisational culture, and at the forefront of our minds.'

The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation is an independent volunteer charitable organisation, which aims to decrease work related psychological ill-health in the legal community and to promote workplace psychological health and safety.

The Foundation honours the memory of Tristan Jepson, a student, young lawyer and comedian who suffered from severe clinical depression and took his own life just four weeks after his 26th birthday.

The psychological factors which the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation encourages organisations to embed and improve upon include:

  1. Organisational culture – a work environment characterised by trust, honesty and fairness.
  2. Psychological and social support – a work environment where co-workers and supervisors are supportive of employees' psychological and mental health concerns and respond appropriately as needed.
  3. Clear leadership and expectations – environment where there is effective leadership and support that helps employees know what they need to do, how their work contributes to the organisation and where there are impending changes.
  4. Civility and respect – a work environment where employees are respected and considerate in their interactions with one another as well as with customers, clients and the public.
  5. Psychological competencies and requirements – a work environment where there is a good fit between employees' interpersonal and emotional competencies and the requirements of the position they hold.
  6. Growth and development – a work environment where employees receive encouragement and support in their development of their interpersonal, emotional and job skills.
  7. Recognition and reward – a work environment where there is appropriate acknowledgement and appreciation of employees' efforts in a fair and timely manner.
  8. Good involvement and influence by team – a work environment where employees are included in discussions about how their work is done and how important decisions are made.
  9. Workload management – a work environment where tasks and responsibilities can be accomplished successfully within the time available.
  10. Engagement – a work environment where employees feel connected to their work and are motivated to do their job well.
  11. Balance – a work environment where there is recognition of the need for balance between the demands of work, family and personal life.
  12. Psychological protection – a work environment where management takes appropriate action to protect employees' psychological safety.
  13. Protection of physical safety – a work environment where management takes appropriate action to protect the physical safety of employees.

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