Nationalist MP opens up about depression, suicide during parliamentary speech

Mario Galea opens up in parliament on his experience with depression and how he battled suicide thoughts by seeking professional help

PN MP Mario Galea
PN MP Mario Galea

Nationalist MP Mario Galea opened up about his experience with depressionwhen speaking in the House on Monday, in a personal account that departed from parliamentary monotony.

“The worst thing about depression is that the people who don’t have it just don’t get it,” he said.

Galea explained that COVID-19 affected mental health services all around the world, ironically at a time when help was needed most.

At a personal level, he recalled experiencing suicidal thoughts throughout his life.

“There were moments when I wanted to commit suicide. But I noticed I was at risk, and spoke to a professional,” he said, briefly thanking psychiatrist David Cassar for the support.

“I was very close to committing suicide,” he continued. “The message I want to send here is that, looking back, I think to myself ‘thank God I never did it’.”

He emphasised that depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, a condition that could affect anyone.

Galea went on to propose having a fully-fledged crisis intervention unit integrated into Mater Dei Hospital’s emergency department.

This is not the first time that Galea spoke out about his depressive episodes. He is a vocal activist for sufferers of depression, and in 2015 he criticised the government and media for not doing enough to tackle the growing mental illness phenomenon.

“There is no health without mental health,” he said while closing his parliamentary speech.