While we might love to criticise our politicians, it’s quite easy to forget that they have feelings as well.
The conversation about mental health of our leaders has come to the fore today, after Greens Senator Scott Ludlam announced on social media he was taking leave to treat an ongoing battle with anxiety and depression.
The senator has been granted leave until the end of the year, the ABC is reporting.
Senator Ludlam made the announcement on Facebook, writing that anxiety and depressions were issues he has “been dealing with for a while”.
“I will return to work as soon as I’m able to give the commitment the work demands,” he wrote.
“I am fortunate to be getting the very best of care from my friends and family and my health professionals.”
While he is away, Senator Ludlam said his office would work with his senate colleagues to manage his portfolio responsibilities.
The announcement has earned the praise of hundreds of people on the Greens senator’s Facebook page.
“Look at that! A politician who isn’t afraid to admit he’s human and faces many of the same challenges we all do,” one person commented
“I respect your strength even more so after this, you aren’t weak!”
“Thanks for showing real leadership in being open about this, this means a lot to those of us with mental health issues!” another person wrote.
“I hope your support networks are amazing and you have the speediest recovery possible.”
Fellow politicians have also offered words of encouragement and support on social media.
Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale wished his “dear friend and colleague all the best for a speedy recovery” on Twitter.
“We love you Scott,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Tasmanian Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson wrote “we are all with you”.
“We are all proud of you,” he posted on Twitter.
“Can’t wait to see you feeling well again.”
If you or anyone you know needs help or information call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78 or visit beyondblue.org.au