I feel very lucky to work in internal communications at The National Archives because I get to learn about the diverse histories our records hold from the ‘inside’, some of which can help highlight or inspire debate about present day matters and issues. I also get to publicise events such as Diversity Week to staff, which I very much enjoy. Diversity Week is our annual event that includes free public talks which aim to highlight the diversity of our collections, while bringing greater awareness and understanding of equality and diversity issues.
Mental health is a topic that appears frequently in our records, and changing attitudes to conditions over time are reflected in provision for treatment, the language used to describe aspects of mental health, and the willingness of people to discuss it. More information on researching these areas can be found in our research guide.
This year’s Diversity Week explored the topic of mental health by way of an interactive and thought-provoking talk presented by Jon Bartlett, for our staff. Jon has lived with bipolar (previously known as manic depression) for 20 years and has tried numerous ways of coping. Last January, he published a blog anonymously. Because of the level of support he received, he decided to go public. Since then, he has published further blog posts.