Tag Archives: johnny oates

Jonny Oates tells House of Lords about his experience of depression

In a speech to the House of Lords yesterday, Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates talked about his experience of depression as a young man.

This experience was not unrelated to the times in which he was growing up. As a young gay man, having the government legislate against him was not easy to deal with. He also suggests that the churches should reflect on the impact they can have on people’s mental health, referring to Archbishop Michael Ramsey who was Archbishop of Canterbury at the time homosexuality was legalised and who was supportive of that change in the law.

Here is the speech in full:

My Lords, I welcome the opportunity to take part in this important debate on the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health initiated by my noble friend Lady Brinton. As my noble friend said, mental health is a topic which touches almost everyone in this country, whether through direct personal experience or through families and friends who have suffered from mental ill-health.

For much of the time when I was growing up, it was pretty much a taboo subject. Few people talked openly about mental illness; it was too often a personal burden not to be shared, understood or tackled but to be hidden away even from those closest to one. In recent years there has been a welcome shift in our attitudes, and I pay tribute to the mental health charities and the many activists and campaigners, such as Alastair Campbell, who have helped break down taboos and get mental health on the agenda, but I also pay a real and heartfelt tribute to Norman Lamb in particular who, as a Health Minister in the previous Government, strongly supported by the then Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, did so much to push the issue of mental health right up the government agenda, placing mental health literally on the front page of the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment
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  • User AvatarMartin 16th Oct - 11:34am
    I think that this is an important provision that LDV can do. It is quite a simple task, at least easier than writing original articles....
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 16th Oct - 10:57am
    Yes jayne mansfield, balance. We do know that society is often a mixture of interest groups all competing for resources, but balance is key to...
  • User AvatarDarren Marin 16th Oct - 10:55am
    @Michael - Thanks for the links! I think unfortunately the direction of travel is not towards working less even though it should be. The potential...
  • User AvatarDarren Martin 16th Oct - 10:44am
    @Nick the France example is a good one and you are right, this needs to be looked at in detail. I would say, however, it...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 16th Oct - 10:33am
    @Peter Watson Clearly it takes time from when a political party to recover from a difficult time - especially when that time has been in...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 16th Oct - 10:30am
    David Agree that there should be wide distribution elsewhere, but we often publish posts which are based around party press releases on LDV and will...