The son of former Welsh Cabinet Secretary Carl Sargeant has urged fellow members of the National Assembly for Wales to ‘lead the way’ and raise awareness around the need to support those suffering from stress during Mental Health Awareness Week.
Jack Sargeant, Assembly Member for Alyn & Deeside, says he wants to use the Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Stress: Are We Coping?’ campaign to raise awareness following the ‘devastating personal impact’ of the past six months since his father’s death.
Writing to his fellow members and calling for cross-party support for the week, which runs from May 14-20, he said:
“Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this.
“By tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and, in some instances, self-harm and suicide.”
Referring to the personal tragedy to hit his own family last November, he added: “Many of us will have gone through periods of mental ill health or walked through it with a loved one. I know I have.
“Mental Health Awareness Week has taken on an even greater significance for me this year and I would encourage everyone to think about what they can do to help prevent mental health problems.
“Given the devastating personal impact of the last six months, I wanted to use Mental Health Awareness Week to raise awareness about the challenges that so many people face.
“Early intervention is crucial, as is noticing and understanding stress and having strong relationships. I’d encourage anyone dealing with their own mental health issues to seek help and for those worried about a friend, work colleague or family member to reach out to them.
“We must all work together to find answers and solutions to help people suffering with mental health issues.” Neil Hudgell, who is representing the family ahead of an inquiry into Carl Sargeant’s death, says Jack’s message around the importance of supporting those suffering from any level of stress is both poignant and powerful during Mental Health Awareness Week.
He said: “It has obviously been a very tough past six months for the Sargeant family, and it is of great credit to them that they have recognised how the sad circumstances of Carl’s death may reflect the current situations of many others who are struggling with aspects in their life, or perhaps may be under increased pressures and stress and be in need of support and understanding.
“This awareness week is focussed around providing better support for people who do find themselves struggling with the daily pressures of their lives, or from increased stressed they have been subjected to.
“It is particularly important at such times that the right support networks are there for them to ensure they get the help they needed as quickly as possible. This can only be achieved with greater understanding of how increasing levels of stress can impact on peoples’ mental health.”