Alastair Campbell, Political Strategist and Mind Ambassador
Alastair Campbell, political strategist and former director of communications for Prime Minister Tony Blair, discusses his experience with depression, how he copes with the disease and his perspective on mental health issues among young people.
On how employers are important to mental health solutions: “If I think back to some of the key moments in what I would define as my recovery, employers have been incredibly important, almost as much as doctors actually. So, when I had my breakdown, I'd left the Mirror to go to another paper. My former boss…was one of the first people who sought me out when I was in hospital and said… ‘I told you that you should have left, but I'm not defining you by it. If you want your old job back, you can have your old job back.’… So, I think for me, development of resilience was absolutely fundamental.”
On young people’s mental health issues: “As a society we are getting better at talking about it, acknowledging it, being open about it. I also think that when I see my own kids, particularly my daughter who's 25, it strikes me, and maybe this is because of the home she grew up in, that she and her friends are much more open. Boys less so. But I think even boys are more open than my generation was. I also think something is going on that we don't fully understand.”