Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf Opens Up About Mental Health Struggles During First Marriage Breakdown

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf Opens Up About Mental Health Struggles During First Marriage Breakdown

Humza Yousaf Opens Up About Mental Health Amidst Marriage Collapse

In a candid revelation, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf shared the emotional toll he endured following the collapse of his first marriage in 2016.

Yousaf admitted to being on the verge of a breakdown, spending an entire day in emotional distress, not eating or drinking.

However, he chose to keep his mental anguish a secret from then-First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, fearing potential job loss.

24 Hours of Emotional Turmoil

Yousaf recounted the challenging period, stating that during the aftermath of his first marriage breakdown, he felt isolated and distressed.

In a vulnerable state, he spent a whole day without moving from his sofa, reflecting on the difficulties he faced.

After 24 hours of emotional turmoil, he recognized the need for help.

Fear of Job Loss Hindering Disclosure

Despite feeling the need for assistance, Yousaf admitted to not confiding in Nicola Sturgeon or colleagues due to the stigma surrounding mental health in politics.

He expressed concerns about potential repercussions on his position as the transport minister, believing there was a prevailing notion that politicians with mental health challenges left their roles.

Stigma Around Mental Health in Politics

Discussing the stigma associated with seeking help in politics, Yousaf acknowledged that he thought revealing his mental health struggles might jeopardize his job.

While he believed figures like Nicola Sturgeon and colleagues would have been understanding, he felt the prevailing norm was for politicians facing mental health challenges to exit their roles.

Seeking Help and Overcoming Stigma

Eventually, Yousaf reached out to a friend who was a psychiatrist, breaking the silence around his mental health battles.

He emphasized the importance of seeking professional guidance and acknowledged the stigma that influenced his initial hesitation.

Yousaf recognized the need to challenge societal norms regarding mental health challenges in political circles.

Personal Growth and Support Systems

Since then, Yousaf has remarried and emphasized the significance of protecting his mental health.

Drawing boundaries and allocating family time have become crucial in managing the stresses of his role.

Despite expressing hurt over his relationship breakdown with Alex Salmond, Yousaf holds deep affection for Nicola Sturgeon, expressing concern for her well-being amidst challenges to her reputation.