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Parliaments must do more to protect mental health of MPs

Being a politician is a job like no other. But that isn’t all good. The price you pay for the privilege, opportunities and experiences is agreeing to a bizarre life and workplace – one that is often not good for your mental health.

It is likely that 20 per cent of our parliamentarians will experience a mental health issue. This is not because they are any different to the rest of us. It is because they are just like the rest of us. In Australia about one in five people will experience mental ill-health.

John Barilaro’s announcement that he is taking extended leave from his position as Deputy Premier for his mental health is a triumph and tragedy for mental health and politics. A triumph that the second most powerful politician in the state can be open about mental health. A tragedy that in 2020, Parliament and the political workplace is still dangerous to the mental health of its…

Lucy Brogden

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