Welsh mental health charity statement on Jack Straw’s experiences of depression

Former home secretary Jack Straw has revealed in his autobiography that he has experienced depression – and that psychoanalysis was effective in its treatment. Read more at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/22/jack-straw-autobiography-reveals-battle-depression/print

Commenting on Mr Straw’s experiences Bill Walden-Jones, Chief Executive of Welsh mental health charity Hafal, said: “It’s always valuable when a public figure such as a senior politician feels able to ‘come out’ about experiencing mental illness. They deliver an important message: that it can happen to anyone and that it’s OK to talk about it – and, of course, it demonstrates that they can still be a leader and high achiever just like anybody else.

“What’s interesting about Mr Straw’s statements is that he advocates psychological therapies in the treatment of mental illness – and specifically psychoanalysis, an in-depth therapy. Hafal’s clients know from experience that even for serious mental illness, talking therapies are a very effective treatment, particularly those which are more intensive and exploratory. Unfortunately these treatments are not as readily available or as readily prescribed as they should be.”