Civil service teams up with migraine charity for awareness campaign

Written by Beckie Smith on 2 September 2019 in News

Civil service has a "responsibility" to support staff with the condition, says disability champion Rutnam

Photo: PA

The civil service has announced a campaign with The Migraine Trust to increase support across departments for staff with the condition and awareness of its effects.

The charity will work with civil service HR teams, mental health advocates and disability champions to improve understanding of migraine, and ensure they are informed about how to support civil servants with the condition.

The campaign has been launched to mark Migraine Awareness Week, which runs from 1 to 7 September, and aims to increase understanding of the condition's impact and how it can be managed at work.


The two organisations will also launch a communications campaign targeted at people who experience migraine to encourage them to seek help. The campaign will also aim to raise wider awareness among staff that they are likely to be working alongside colleagues who suffer from the condition, and improve their understanding of its effects.

In an announcement, The Migraine Trust said it was working with the civil service because “migraine is a highly prevalent and often debilitating neurological condition and the impact of which is exacerbated, including in the workplace, by widespread lack of understanding”.

One in seven people worldwide experience migraine, according to the charity.

Sir Phillip Rutnam, Home Office permanent secretary and civil service disability champion, said the joint campaign aimed to “shine a light on the workplace challenges migraine sufferers face, and to raise awareness of what we – as employers and colleagues – can do to help”.

"It is our responsibility to create a workplace that provides staff with the support and understanding they need to thrive,” he said.

Gus Baldwin, chief executive of The Migraine Trust, said: “By creating a working environment that is aware and understanding of migraine, and supportive of people with the condition, the civil service will not only have a positive impact on their lives, but on its entire organisation as well.

“This is a wonderful example which we hope will inspire other organisations to follow.”

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Beckie Smith
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Beckie Smith is a reporter for CSW who tweets @Beckie__Smith.

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Submitted on 3 September, 2019 - 11:22
This is very positive and welcome, but if the civil service really wants to support migraineurs it needs to interrogate its sickness absence policies, which actively discriminate against migraineurs, particularly those who, like myself, suffer from chronic migraine.

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