History in the making: Charles Walker MP, Kevan Jones MP, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, and Andrea Leadsom MP talk about their mental health problems for the first time in the House of Commons.   

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, England’s biggest mental health anti-stigma programme, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, said:

“It is incredibly encouraging to hear the news that these politicians have spoken out in Parliament today about their experience of mental illness. This will go down in the history books as we have never before seen our political leaders and parliamentarians feel able to discuss their mental health problems openly without fear of discrimination. We want people from all walks of life to be able to do the same and it’s great to see politicians making a stand."

Talking about his experience in Parliament, Kevan Jones MP said: "We have got to talk about mental health in this House. Actually admitting that sometimes you need help is not a sign of weakness."

 

Sue was asked to give her views on the issue of influential people such as politicians talking openly about their mental health on politics.co.uk and Guardian Comment is Free:

 The story was picked up in the following:

Guardian
The Independent
Daily Mail
BBC News
Huffington Post
MSN.co.uk
Press Association

Scottish Daily Mail
Politics Home

You can also read the full debate in Hansard.

Tweets about the debate

@TimetoChange Am having a bad day (depression) and hearing the struggle in MPs voices to articulate feelings was amazing. Amazing & Brave.

— caroline jones (@caroloujones) June 14, 2012

Mental health issues been mentioned on BBC News, turning a negative into a positive! @TimetoChange!

— Dan Hollingmode (@DanHollingmode) June 16, 2012

 

All of us campaigners in mh said a big day would be when a MP was open about having experience of mh probs. Today 4 have #mentalhealthdebate

— Paul Jenkins (@PaulJRethink) June 14, 2012

 

For more information please contact Hayley Richardson, Time to Change Senior Media Officer, on h.richardson@time-to-change.org.uk or 0208 2152 358/ 07789 721 966. Follow Hayley on Google+