"I feel it is important for me to be honest"
Labour MP Nadia Whittome has revealed that she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
As a result, she has decided to take a “step back” from her work.
The Nottingham East MP said her doctor advised her to take several weeks off so that her health could improve.
Ms Whittome said the decision was “incredibly difficult” and one she feels “very sad” about.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer wished Ms Whittome “all the best” in her recovery and praised her “bravery”.
In a statement, the 24-year-old revealed she has been battling “some persistent health issues” over recent months.
She said: “Until now, I have been attempting to manage them alongside continuing with my full-time work as an MP.
“Unfortunately, it has become clear that this is not feasible and I have been advised by my doctor that I need to take several weeks off in order for my health to improve.
“I feel it is important for me to be honest that it 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.”
On the advice of my doctor, I'm going to be taking some time away from work for health reasons.
Constituents should continue to contact my office as normal – my staff will be there to assist you.
My full statement is below. pic.twitter.com/0CMDxc8OYl
— Nadia Whittome MP (@NadiaWhittomeMP) May 25, 2021
Nadia Whittome went on to say that her constituents should continue to contact her office as normal.
“My decision to take time off has been an incredibly difficult one to make.”
“Representing Nottingham East is the greatest honour of my life and I am very sad to have to step back for a little while.”
In 2019, Ms Whittome became the House of Commons’ youngest MP.
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, she got a part-time job at a care home.
However, she said she was “effectively sacked” after speaking out about PPE.
Earlier in May 2021, Ms Whittome spoke about a “mental health crisis” in a column published by Nottingham magazine LeftLion.
She said the pandemic worsened it and that the most affected demographic has been young people.
Rethink Mental Illness said that the subject of mental health in the workplace is still taboo.
Mark Winstanley, chief executive of the charity, said:
“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.”