Bar None – a Captivating Short Movie of Hope in 2024

Bar None is a short movie commissioned by the Victorian Bar which grapples with the mental health issues faced by law professionals. Starring Darren Mort.
Darren Mort - Bar None

Bar None - a Short Movie

“Bar None” is a short movie commissioned by the Victorian Bar. 

The movie grapples with the mental health issues faced by law professionals. 

Last year the Victorian Bar, a professional association of barristers in Victoria, Australia, commissioned the Health & Well Being Committee to address the pressing issue of mental health among barristers.

The committee, chaired by Dr Michelle Sharpe to authorise Abi Richardson and Darren Mort to produce a short film – “Bar None”  – tackling this subject.

Abi Richardson, after liaising with the Bar’s psychologist Bernadette Healy, undertook the mammoth task of writing the script.

Darren Mort, a well-known actor recognised for his roles in various productions such as “The Domestication of Humans” (2010), “How to Time Travel” (2016), and “Nowhere Boys” (2013), was also involved in this project.

Bernadette Healy, the Bar’s psychologist, played a key role in the creation of “Bar None” .

Her expertise in mental health and her understanding of the unique challenges faced by barristers were invaluable in shaping the script and ensuring that “Bar None”  accurately represents the experiences of those in the legal profession.

In the next couple of days, “Bar None”, a testament to their hard work and dedication, is set to be officially launched.

Both Abi and Darren are thrilled with the end product and its valuable potential as a resource for barristers grappling with mental health issues.

The need for such a resource is underscored by data from a report by the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner (VLSBC). The report found that poor wellbeing is a barrier to lawyers being able to do their jobs and provide quality legal services to Victorian consumers.

It highlighted that rates of psychological distress are relatively high across the legal profession, with depression appearing to be particularly prevalent among law students, solicitors, and barristers.

Mental health is a critical issue in the legal profession. The high-stress nature of the work, long hours, and the adversarial nature of many legal tasks can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

This is not just a personal issue for those affected, but it also impacts the quality of service they can provide to their clients.

This finding is echoed in a survey of 200 legal professionals across Australia and New Zealand, which revealed that a staggering 85% of lawyers experience anxiety in the workplace, and 60% of respondents had experienced depression or knew someone who had.

In response to these alarming statistics, the Victorian Bar has established a dedicated portal to provide Victorian barristers and their families with support and information to help them meet the mental, emotional, and other challenges they encounter in their practices.

This portal includes a library of videos relevant to barristers’ mental and physical health and wellbeing.

The Health & Well Being Committee at the Victorian Bar plays a crucial role in addressing these issues. Chaired by Dr. Michelle Sharpe, the committee is responsible for promoting the health and well-being of members of the Victorian Bar.

They organize a range of initiatives, including educational programs, resources, and support services.

The short film “Bar None”, produced by Abi Richardson and Darren Mort, is a significant contribution to these efforts. By tackling the subject of mental health among barristers, “Bar None” raises awareness about the issue and provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by legal professionals.

It serves as a powerful tool for sparking conversations about mental health and encouraging barristers to seek help when they need it.

The upcoming launch of “Bar None”  is a significant event for the Victorian Bar. It represents the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication from everyone involved.

The launch will provide an opportunity for members of the Bar and the wider legal community to come together, watch the film, and engage in discussions about mental health.

The Victorian Bar’s proactive approach to addressing mental health issues within the legal profession demonstrates its insight and capacity to stand as a leader in the field.

Congratulations to the Victorian Bar, Dr. Michelle Sharpe, Abi Richardson, Darren Mort, and all those involved in this important initiative. Their efforts will undoubtedly make a significant difference in the lives of many barristers and their families.

Looking ahead, “Bar None”  has the potential to make a significant impact. By raising awareness about mental health issues among barristers, it can help to reduce the stigma associated with these issues and encourage more people to seek help.

The film can also serve as a valuable resource for other legal organizations looking to address mental health issues within their own communities.

In conclusion, the Victorian Bar, through the efforts of the Health & Well Being Committee, Abi Richardson, Darren Mort, and others, is taking significant steps to address the issue of mental health among barristers.

Their work is a testament to the Bar’s commitment to supporting its members and promoting health and well-being within the legal profession.

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