Britain’s Labour party politician named Nadia Whittome has gained praise for being open about her mental health and taking a leave of absence from the parliament to recover.
The member of parliament Whittome recently announced that she is taking a leave from the parliament in order to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She said that her doctors have advised her to do and that she will be back to take her role.
In her public statement, Whittome wrote, “Over recent months, I have been battling some persistent health issues. Until now, I have been attempting to manage them alongside continuing my full-time work as an MP. Unfortunately, it has become clear that this is not feasible and I have been advised by my doctor that I need to take several weeks off in order for my health to improve.”
While it’s not unusual for an individual to take leave from work to deal with an illness, it certainly spoke to people when the member of parliament revealed the nature of her illness. She openly shared that she suffers from PTSD, a mental condition that many suffer from but few feel brave enough to reveal it.
While addressing the stigma around the disease, Whittome wrote that it is important for her to be honest about her mental illness. “One in four people will experience mental health problems each year, but there is still a great deal of shame and stigma surrounding it.”
She added that by being open about her condition, others will also feel easier to talk about theirs. She hoped to “play a small role in creating acceptance and facilitating healthier discussions” around PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
The institution also states the disease can cause a significant impact on a person’s day-to-day life because of the severe symptoms of the illness. Some of them include insomnia, difficulty in concentration, feelings of guilt, irritability, frequent nightmares, flashbacks of the traumatic event of the past and feeling of isolation.
Nadia Whittome in her statement also said that her decision to take time off from being an MP was a difficult one to make. She thanked her party whips and other colleagues for supporting her and enabling to her take this important step.
Keir Starmer, the leader of the UK’s Labour party was one of those colleagues.Starmer gave his statement regarding Whittome’s move. “I wish Nadia all the best and hope she gets well soon. I respect Nadia’s bravery in speaking openly about her mental health and I look forward to welcoming her back to Parliament.”
Rethink Mental Illness’ chief executive Mark Winstanley applauded Nadia Whittome for taking the call. He said that enduring stigma surrounding a mental illness in a workplace can be “hugely damaging, preventing people from accessing support” as individuals tend to prioritise work over their fear of judgement.
“Being signed off from work for poor mental health is not a sign of weakness, but a recognition that wellbeing should always be a priority,” he said.
Nadia Whittome is a recognised MP of the labour party. She took the post in 2019 when she was 23 years old. In her tenure as an MP, she has chosen to speak up on difficult subjects such as police violence, crime, and male violence.