MP Charles Walker to speak at AMM

1. Staff and visitors at the 2011 Annual Members' Meeting
Staff and visitors at the 2011 Annual Members' Meeting
2. Charles Walker MP

An MP who recently spoke out in the House of Commons about his own mental health issues has agreed to address our Annual Members' Meeting (AMM) on Wednesday 26 September.

Tory MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health, Charles Walker, will share his personal experiences of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) with the assembled audience at our AMM at IndigO2 at The O2 Arena in Greenwich on Wednesday 26 September.

Speaking about his own experiences with OCD, Mr Walker, MP for Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, told the House of Commons on 14 June: "On occasions it is manageable and, on occasions, it becomes quite difficult. It takes you to some quite dark places.

"I operate by the rule of four. So I have to do everything in evens. I have to wash my hands four times. I have to go in and out of a room four times. My wife and children often say I resemble an extra from Riverdance as I bounce in and out of a room."

MPs were told by Lib Dem Health Minister Paul Burstow that mental health was a "taboo subject" - even though one in four people in the UK will suffer from mental health problems at some point in their lives.

Mr Walker's Labour colleague, Kevan Jones MP, told of his battle with depression and the "difficult" decision to speak out. The pair earned praise from charities for their "historic" speeches in the House of Commons. 

The AMM kicks off at 9.15am, with stalls and activities. Presentations and a performance by Life & Deaf - in which deaf young people dynamically explore their identity through poetry in English and British Sign Language live on stage, will commence at 11.30am. These will conclude with an awards ceremony to recognise outstanding staff contributions. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to foundation.trust@oxleas.nhs.uk by Friday 14 September. 

Published on 5th September 2012