MP Ivan Lewis has laid bare his battle with years of depression in a brutally honest account to launch a new campaign.
Opening up for the first time about his mental health, the veteran MP referenced parental divorce, failed relationships and ‘prolonged periods of loneliness’.
Mr Lewis is a former mental health support worker and health minister who has long championed mental health awareness. He is currently suspended from the Labour Party over accusations of sexual harassment.
The Bury South MP’s struggles will be revealed in a highly-personal blog due to be published later this week to support the launch of a campaign to improve mental health services in Bury.
Mr Lewis, who was first elected in 1997, said he recognised he has had ‘many advantages’ not available to others with mental health difficulties, pointing to his family, vocation and income. But he said that during most periods of depression, he has felt unable to reach out.
- Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.
- Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
- The Sanctuary (0300 003 7029) helps people who are struggling to cope - experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks or in crisis. You can call them between 8pm and 6am every night.operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at email@example.com .
- Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Childline(0800 1111 ) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
- PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.