MP reveals battle with depression

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AN MP has revealed his battle against depression.

Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, said mental illness should not be seen as a weakness in politics.

Mr Jones said politicians often did not want to admit they suffered from mental health problems for fear of being seen as frail, while many colleagues still looked on illnesses such as depression in a disparaging way.

The former defence minister said he suffered from a deep depression but had not sought help as he urged Speaker John Bercow to devote more resources to Parliament’s in-house team dedicated to helping MPs with mental health issues.

Many people still did not understand the pressures of being an MP, he told the Commons, adding that medication was only “part of the answer”.

Therapy was just as important, he told MPs.

Some of his relatives were not aware of the details of his illness, Labour MP Mr Jones said, as he appeared close to tears in the Commons.

Mr Jones was speaking during a debate on mental illness.