Today marks one year since Western Australia’s former state premier, Dr Geoff Gallop, stepped down from office due to depression.
Part of the statement he made at the time said, “It is my difficult duty to inform you today that I am currently being treated for depression. Living with depression is a very debilitating experience, which affects different people in different ways. It has certainly affected many aspects of my life. So much so, that I sought expert help last week.
My doctors advised me that with treatment, time and rest this illness is very curable. However, I cannot be certain how long I will need. So in the interests of my health and my family, I have to rethink my career.
My commitment to politics has always been 100 per cent plus. I now need that time to restore my health and well-being. Therefore I am announcing today my intention to resign as Premier of Western Australia and the member for Victoria Park in the state parliament.”
His honesty and courage in speaking openly about depression has helped many people seek help for this often crippling problem. Before people start to seek a solution to any kind of mental health issues they need to know that it’s safe to do so. Dr Gallop’s courage gave courage to many others.
One group that has been helping people towards better mental health for many years is GROW.
Many people who experience depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses, loss, abuse, relationship difficulties or various other misfortunes, often endure their problems with great courage, but do not have the support or knowledge which will enable them to overcome these problems. GROW has found a way based on the lived experience of thousands of individuals who have had a mental illness and have recovered.”
David Tehr is a representative for GROW and I spoke to him this morning as part of my radio programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM.
The good news is that there is a way forward for those suffering depression and other mental health issues.
If you’d like to listen to our conversation now you can use the media player below.
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