MacLeod returns to legislature after mental health diagnosis


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Ontario MLA Lisa MacLeod plans to return to the Legislature on Tuesday after receiving treatment for a mental health crisis in the spring.

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In an open statement Thursday to her constituents, family, staff and colleagues in Nepean, MacLeod thanked them for their support as she gradually returned to work.

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“Throughout this time, my family and I learned that I was living with bipolar and metabolic disorder,” she said. “Although initially it was difficult to master these diagnoses, I recognize that these are realities that many people must also manage.

“I am confident that with the right medications, regular therapy, and changes in my nutrition and exercise routines, I will be able to manage these concurrent diagnoses like others too,” she added.

MacLeod, a prominent member of Premier Doug Ford’s team, held several cabinet posts.

She plans to work on public policy issues such as women’s leadership and protection issues, children’s sports, recreation and culture as well as mental health, anti-bullying and suicide prevention – all priorities for her since the start of her career, she said.

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MacLeod noted that several politicians were keen to stay in touch, including Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, Ontario President Ted Arnott, fellow PC MPs John Yakabuski, Laurie Scott and Steve Clark, NDP Interim Leader Peter Tabuns and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

MacLeod also thanked Ford and his chief of staff James Wallace for providing him with the time and space to understand his illness and receive treatment.

“Each of them reminded me in my difficult days that the work we do is noble and that when the chips are on the line, there is indeed humility, decency and empathy at the root of our political system — which is encouraging in these polarized times when it’s far easier to hurl an insult on social media than to check in and say a kind word,” MacLeod said.

Camile Quenneville, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association (Ontario Division), said in a statement that MacLeod’s thoughtful statement about his mental health and diagnosis will encourage others struggling with similar issues. to seek the care they need.

“On behalf of all of us working to reduce stigma and improve services for people struggling with mental health or addiction, we offer our sincere gratitude to Lisa MacLeod,” Quenneville said. “Our hope is that she will be treated with the respect and compassion she so richly deserves in the days ahead.”

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