The youngest UK MP was told by her doctor to take “several weeks” off work because of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Nottingham East Labor MP Nadia Whittome has announced that she will be saying goodbye to the Commons after months of trying to cope with her condition alongside full-time work.
But she said, “Unfortunately, it has become clear that this is not feasible and my doctor has advised me that I need to take a few weeks off for my health to improve.”
Ms. Whittome was elected in the December 2019 election at the age of just 23 and became the baby of the house.
In a statement explaining why she disclosed the nature of her illness, she said, “I think it’s important to be honest that it is a mental illness that I suffer from – especially post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“One in four people will have mental health problems every year, but there is still a lot of shame and stigma.
“By being open to my own mental health struggle, I hope that others will feel able to speak about theirs too, and that I can play a small role in creating more acceptance and healthier discussions on the subject enable.”
She thanked Labor leader Sir Kier Starmer and his political secretary Jenny Chapman for their “kindness” and added that their staff would continue to support voters.
Sir Keir said: “I wish Nadia all the best and hope that she will be well soon. I respect Nadia’s bravery to speak openly about her sanity and look forward to seeing her again in Parliament. “
The executive director of a leading mental health charity praised Ms. Whittome’s transparency.
Mark Winstanley of Rethink Mental Illness said, “The persistent stigma of mental health in the workplace can be extremely damaging, preventing people from receiving support and leading them to prioritize their own well-being for fear of judgment at work.
“Dismissing work because of poor mental health is not a sign of weakness, but an understanding that wellbeing should always be a priority.
“We welcome Nadia’s openness to her diagnosis and wish her all the best in her recovery.”