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26 Sept 2022

MP William Wragg says he’s taking a break to deal with depression and anxiety

Politicians from across the divide have expressed support for senior Conservative MP William Wragg after he said he would be taking a break to deal with depression and anxiety.

He said both conditions are currently “severe” but he looks forward to “returning refreshed, better able to represent my constituents, loving life and myself a little bit more”.

The MP for Hazel Grove, in Greater Manchester, said his constituents can continue to contact his office for assistance as he shared his experience in a Twitter post titled “banishing the black dog”.

“I have lived with depression and anxiety for most of my adult life. At the moment, both are severe,” the chairman of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee wrote.

“I am resisting the temptation to give up entirely. As such, I require a short break. I know that how I feel is far from unique. I would say to anyone who feels similarly, that they should speak to someone they trust, seek and accept support.

“Do not assume those who are outwardly confident and successful are without doubts and despair. I am only making this statement as an explanation, instead of giving recurrent excuses.

“My constituents can continue to contact my office when they require assistance. My hard-working team will continue to do their utmost to help them. In the meantime, I look forward to returning refreshed, better able to represent my constituents, loving life and myself a little bit more.”

MPs responded on Twitter to send him their best wishes and to thank him for being open about his mental health experience, in the hope that it helps others too.

Former chancellor Sajid Javid said: “So sorry to hear this and thank you for speaking up. Hope you feel better soon my friend.”

Labour MP for Warrington North Charlotte Nichols tweeted: “I hope your time out is restorative, look after yourself! Living alongside mental illness in roles like ours is tough (I speak from experience), but you’re far from alone and hopefully your openness will help others too.”

Tory Huw Merriman said: “Sending my best wishes to Will; his openness will provide a signpost to the road to recovery for others in need of help and support.”

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