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Let Men Drive The Mental Health Bus – Nick O’Neill
Episode 806th June 2024 • Beyond The Water Cooler • Lisa LLoyd
00:00:00 00:57:31

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Nick O'Neill of Oriel Chambers outlines a modern approach for mental health in a traditional industry that is the legal sector.

He explains that law is known for being a male dominated culture, attracting alpha characters. And that presents a challenge for addressing a very human need, particularly when you consider that many men of the generation that struggle to engage with mental health, are managers. Their perceptions and behaviours have a far-reaching impact.

Add to that Nick's view that most lawyers hate being told what to do and the challenge of billable hours, and you will understand that this is a complex issue.

Nick outlines how the Bar is addressing the layers of cultural complexity to break down barriers.

He shares advice about the need to keep women out - a controversial but informed perspective. 

He explains the need to get more people on the bus by creating a commercial case.

And Nick describes the impact of the Merseyside Men's Legal Wellbeing Group, discussing topics such as professional happiness, imposter syndrome and professional goals.

We both detest tick boxes. This is about real life.

Don't let Mental Health Awareness Week in May, Global Wellness Day tomorrow, and International Men's Health Week next week become token gestures. Instead, do something that impacts long term by creating engagement and momentum. 

Once you've listened to this podcast, check out what Stuart Codling had to say about the same topic in the police.

These guys have found ways to make a real difference. 

How are YOU going about that?

More about Nick:

After a successful career as a litigation solicitor/partner at KLS Law, Nick O'Neill recognised his real passion for people / operational management. Following the completion of his MBA at Nottingham Trent University, Nick moved into full time legal practice management in 2010. Nick has managed at 3 private sector law firms and spent 5 years as the Legal Governance and Practice Manager at Wirral Borough Council. In January 2021, Nick moved to take up the role of Chambers Director at Oriel Chambers in Liverpool. Nick struggled with his own mental health as a young solicitor and after a period of self-development and study, became a Lawcare support worker in 2010. Nick is a Lawcare Champion and regularly speaks on the legal circuit on behalf of Lawcare, communicating the services that this amazing charity provides. Nick is a qualified ILM Level 5 mental health / career coach and regularly coaches young lawyers to assist them with their career goals. In 2024 Nick became the Chair of the Merseyside Legal Men’s Wellbeing Group.

Links to contact Nick:


Nick O'Neill

Oriel Chambers

Resources & References

Watch this episode on YouTube

Make a real difference to your mental health by exploring topics that significantly impact at Leadership & Manager Labs (

Resources | It's Time for Change (

Removing the Cape: Listening. Supporting. Stronger. With Stewart Codling, Chief Inspector, Thames Valley Police | It's Time for Change (

Are you making the most of the Happiness Advantage? - It's Time for Change (

Imposter Syndrome Podcast - It's Time for Change (

Prioritise People: unlock the value of a thriving workforce - Business in the Community (

Andy's Man Club | #ITSOKAYTOTALK | Andy's Man Club (

LawCare - the mental health charity for the legal sector

Contact details for Lisa LLoyd:



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