Companies from across Cumbria have joined forces in a bid to tackle the “stigma” around mental health issues.

Businesses including BAE Systems, Barclays, PwC North West, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Limited, Cumbria Constabulary and Cumbria Chamber of Commerce gathered in Penrith to launch the "This is me" campaign focusing on addressing mental ill health.

The event, attended by 120 business leaders, featured the personal stories of workers who had themselves suffered from mental health conditions.

According to statistics one in four British workers are affected by conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress every year.

Ian Burns, BAE System’s safety, health and environment director said: “If one in four people with us in Barrow are struggling with mental health every year then that is 2,200 people a year.

“There has been a stigma around mental wellbeing and we at BAE are no different. We want to change the environment so people are more comfortable talking about it.

“When people talk about the journey they have been on it is such a powerful way to help people.”

Mental wellbeing champions at BAE have been brought forward as a way for employees to seek guidance.