After the Commons mental health debate
Four members of parliament spoke about their own mental health problems in a House of Commons backbench debate held in June. Andrea Leadsom talked about her experience of postnatal depression and Sarah Wollaston about her experience of depression, postnatal depression and severe anxiety attacks. Kevan Jones spoke about his experience of depression and Charles Walker about his experience of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Now an article in the Guardian by Juliette Jowit has looked at what happened next.
She asked Jones and Walker whether, once the emotional high of the debate had subsided, they regretted having spoken out:
"Yes," admits Jones, "but the response afterwards shows it was the right thing to do." Walker says he had "little twinges" when he saw the Mercury, but says that strikingly his health was good in the days afterwards: if he had made a big mistake, the stress would have manifested itself in stronger symptoms. "This is my driving passion and I hope it's given me more credibility to talk about it, and more of a platform," he adds.
A week after the debate the four MPs, between them, had received more than 1,000 emails, letters and phone calls, and many colleagues had thanked them too.
As Charles Walker told Jowit
"A lot of people will be saying: 'If MPs can talk about it, maybe I can start being a bit more open.'"