Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Debate on mental health

AMs Ken Skates, David Melding, Llyr Huws Gruffydd and Eluned Parrott spoke about the difficulties they faced having suffered from mental health problems on 28 November 2012.

"I came to the point I was absolutely terrified that the only way to end the illness, was to end life," said Mr Skates.

"I was desperate to avoid it; at that point I sought help."

The debate aimed to tackle the stigma and discrimination against people with or who have suffered from mental health.

The AM's referred to the new campaign, Time to Change, which has those aims.

All four have contributed to a blog on the issue.

One in four people don't believe that people who suffer from mental health problems should be allowed to hold public office and one in ten don't believe that they should be allowed to have children.

Mr Melding raised a few laughs stating that he accepted that three in four people do not believe he should be in office as a Conservative, but said there was a "need to challenge the perception" that those with mental health problems should not be elected.

Having suffered post natal depression, and been advised to lose weight to feel better, Ms Parrott was keen for the government to ensure medical staff knew how to identify and then deal with mental health.

Mr Gruffydd highlighted that, despite discrimination, people with mental health issues play significant roles in society, work across a range of sectors and make important contributions to the economy.

He himself had hidden his illness from his family, due to "fear" of their response.

His message to sufferers was that they are "not alone".

"One in four is a lot of people," he said.

Responding to the debate, Health Minister Lesley Griffiths hailed the Time to Change Wales campaign which is funded by the government, the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief and is based upon a similar campaign held in England.

The three charities responsible for steering the campaign are Mind Cymru, Hafal and Gofal.

The motion was agreed.

Read this in Welsh.


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