Please find below comment from Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, in response to the House of Commons debate on mental health in which MPs including Charles Walker and Kevan Jones revealed their own experiences of mental illness:
“Charles Walker MP, one of the most focussed and effective campaigners for mental health in the House of Commons, was not only brave but refreshing in the way he broke taboos around mental illness.
“If you want to tackle the stigma you don’t shy away from using words normally thought politically incorrect. By referring to himself as a ‘practicing fruitcake’, or even as he might be described as ‘loony Walker’, he has lifted people out of complacency while at the same time not undermining the reality of his ‘dark places’.
“Our own Black Dog campaign is also an attempt to free up the language so people can say they are having a “Black Dog time” rather than say they suffer from clinical depression or other psychiatric labels.
“We applaud the courage of both Charles Walker and Kevan Jones in speaking out and hope this will liberate the many thousands who tell us they are afraid to do so.”
For more information please contact the SANE media department on 020-7422 5556.