This week the Labour MP for Barrow and Furness, John Woodcock took a very brave decision to announce that he is suffering from clinical depression. Following this bold step, he has rightly received praise from all sides for his willingness to sick his head above the parapet and say ‘Me too’.
Is it not a major step forward when a public figure (one with a very stressful job) feels able to talk about mental health conditions in a positive and progressive way. Obviously this is only one example, however the reaction from those suffering from depression or other related conditions should be (and I’m sure will be) one of universal positivity and thanks.
The courage that John Woodcock has shown in confronting his illness head on, and in the public eye should hopefully provide inspiration to all of those who suffer in silence and don’t feel able to discuss their problems or seek medical help. On his constituency website John gives a full and frank account of his problems; however more importantly he makes it quite clear about not only his determination to get better, but also about his continued ability to perform to the best of his ability in the work place, (see the below link to read this).
People like John can help to break down the barriers that surround perceptions of mental illness and for his actions this week he deserves every single bit of thanks and praise coming to him.
There was also an appearance on BBC Newsnight (4/12/13) that you can view here:
Kind words from Fraser Nelson in The Spectator: