Labour MP Nadia Whittome is taking leave of absence after suffering from ongoing PTSD

This comes following death threats, racist abuse and trolling online.

Britain’s youngest Labour MP, Nadia Whittome, has been signed off work after being diagnosed with PTSD.

The 24-year-old MP was advised to take the time off from work by her doctor after experiencing post traumatic stress disorder symptoms. According to the NHS website, these include problems sleeping, brain fog, lethargy, and more.

A former care worker and hate-crime project worker, Nadia Whittome became MP for Nottingham East in 2019.

The announcement comes just weeks after she further shared that she’s been receiving death threats, racist abuse and trolling online.

In a statement released on Twitter this morning, she shared that the decision to take time away from work was ‘incredibly difficult’ and ‘very sad’.

Nadia also went on to say that she’s been ‘battling some persistent health issues’ for months now and had been ‘been attempting to manage them.’ Sadly, recently,  it ‘[became] clear that this [was] not feasible.’

Leader of the Labour Party sir Keir Starmer praised the 24 year-old’s bravery and wished her all the best for a speedy recovery.

Nadia had further shared that she sees her leave of absence as an opportunity to remove the ‘great deal of stigma and shame’ surrounding mental health in the UK – even though one in four people will suffer with their own mental health struggles at some point in their life.

In her Twitter message, the MP said that she hopes that by her being so open about her PTSD diagnosis, it will allow others to feel more comfortable to open up about their own challenges.

She also thanked sir Keir Starmer and his advisor Jenny Chapmen for their ‘support in enabling me to take this course of action.’

Jeremy Corbin, ex-Labour leader, also addressed the issue, calling Nadia ‘bold and brave.’ He Tweeted: “By being honest about looking after her #MentalHealth, she helps all those who are struggling.”

One of the most important – and difficult – parts of any mental health battle is speaking about your struggles. It’s key to protecting your general wellbeing and further healing your mental health.

It should not be seen as a weakness: it’s an act of courage and strength.

Mark Winstanley, founder of Rethink Mental Illness said on the matter: “The enduring stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace can be hugely damaging, preventing people from accessing support and leading them to prioritise work over their own wellbeing for fear of judgment.”

“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.”

If you are struggling with your mental health, do book an appointment with your GP or read our guide to mental health apps, while you’re here.

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