Not before time, but what a fantastic idea!
UK MPs discuss their battles with mental illness in Parliament, in public. Let’s not underestimate how powerful this can be. Joining their ex-colleague Alastair Campbell, who has been very open about his personal war with depression, several MPs describe their experiences of depression, post-natal depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) opening up the debate to a wider audience.
Talking about mental illness is the best way to eradicate the stigma and encourage others to seek help. Mental illness is not shameful, it is the norm. It is fast becoming the case that if you do not or have not suffered from mental illness, you are simply not normal. It is a human condition and sadly, unless we get rid of the old-fashioned attitudes towards mental illness, people will continue to suffer in silence.
Our MPs have shown us that talking about mental illness is incredibly powerful. Were they derided? No. The support they have all received has been overwhelmingly positive and this is primarily because we empathise with them. We have been there and need others to show us the way to become more open and honest about our condition.
As my readers will know, I am more than comfortable talking about my experiences of a life-long battle with depression knowing that it helps others.
Let’s hope that more people come forward and show that having mental illness is not a blight and in some cases, can be counted as a blessing.
Depression is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that you have been trying too hard for too long.