The UK’s youngest MP has announced she is taking time off duties to care for her mental health

Labour MP Nadia Whittome has revealed in a Twitter post that she will be taking time away from duties to look after her mental health, after being diagnosed with post-traumatic disorder (PTSD).

Sharing to her followers today (25 May) in a statement, Naida, who is an MP for Nottingham East, commented on her “incredibly difficult” decision to step back after being advised by her doctor.

MENTAL HEALTH

Revealing she will be taking several weeks off for her health to improve, Naida’s honesty has been celebrated and commended by other members of the Labour party, including leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Having battled with persistent health issues in recent months, Nadia commented: “I feel it is important for me to be honest that is is mental ill-health I am suffering from – specifically post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Through being open about my own mental health struggle, I hope that others will also feel able to talk about theirs, and that I can play a small role in creating greater acceptance and facilitating healthier discussions around this issue.”

This is not the first time Nadia has discussed mental health. In an article she wrote for LeftLion, Nadia highlighted the mental health crisis sweeping the UK.

CRISIS

She wrote: “Among the hardest hit by the pandemic have been young people – both economically and in terms of mental health. 

“Nearly three quarters of university students, who have consistently been treated as an afterthought in the government’s plans, reported that their mental health declined during lockdown.”

Additionally, Naida has revealed that she has experienced hate mail and has even had to go to the police to report receiving death threats.

STIGMA

Mark Winstanley, from Rethink Mental Illness, said: “The enduring stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace can be hugely damaging, preventing people from accessing support and leading them to prioritise work over their own wellbeing for fear of judgment. 

“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. 

“We welcome Nadia’s openness around her diagnosis and wish her well in her recovery.”

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