Total Politics have started a week of blogging on Mental Health and Politics, which I'll be following avidly.
This week, the Total Politics blog will be publishing a whole range of articles addressing the issue of mental health in politics. In the course of a year, one in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem, yet in the political arena, the issue is discussed relatively little. I wanted to do something to change that.
The stigma attached to admitting to a mental health problem - depression or anxiety are the most common ones - is great at the best of times, but for those who work in the high pressure environment of professional politics, it can be insurmountable. At the same time, we look to our politicians for leadership on improving things for those who suffer from these problems. When it comes to something like entrepreneurship, we value legislative contributions from MPs with direct experience of setting up their own businesses, but would we feel the same if a politician cited their own struggle with depression as the inspiration for a new scheme or law? Or would we question their fitness to continue in their job? We can only wonder.