Mental Health Awareness Week

Last Updated: 10 May 2017
Our senior champion for people with disabilities writes about the importance of breaking the stigma around mental health in the workplace.

One in four of us will experience some kind of mental health problem over the course of a year. That means most of us will either have experienced it ourselves or know at least one person affected by it.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. This year it has the theme of 'Surviving or Thriving?' And it's only right that we use it as a further opportunity to raise awareness amongst our workforce about mental health issues.

GCHQ is active in encouraging people to discuss their mental health issues, to seek advice and learn about how to support themselves and others. We want to help break the stigma surrounding Mental Health.

To mark the week our mental health network are hosting drop in information sessions. Guests from Cheltenham Trust and 2gether NHS Trust are visiting to deliver workshops offering practical tips and techniques to improve wellbeing. And we'll be eating cake and raising money for MIND, the mental health charity with a bake sale.

We aren't the only ones talking about mental health - and rightly so. You might have seen the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry talking about their personal reflections through their work with Heads Together. The BBC is running a Minds Matter campaign over the next few weeks: supported by a range of household names including Tom Hardy, David Tennant, Olivia Coleman, and Brian Cox.

The issue of mental health has been an important issue for us at GCHQ for a while now. That's why profits from the GCHQ Puzzle Book have been donated to Heads Together and so far we have been able to donate £240,000 to support their vital work.

It is fantastic to see Mental Health being talked about so frequently and positively. And it is brilliant that GCHQ is part of the conversation.