Quickhit: Andrew Robb’s leave of absence to seek treatment for depression

It’s nice to see him getting plenty of support from his parliamentary peers. It’s good to see someone in a high profile public position being open about such a reason for a leave of absence, and to have public responses validate his decision as sound and reasonable.

The more stigma removed from mental illness the better.



Categories: health, Politics

2 replies

  1. (I left a similar comment when you first posted this but didn’t go through so maybe its stuck in there somewhere. never mind, this one is better!)
    Yes, all that is good and nice. However, and perhaps this is me being mean spirited, but I cannot really separate the man from his political life. The cherished Lib IR philosophy of which Andrew Robb has been a major architect over many years is not to “get between an employee and employer” ie. have as few legal protections as possible and rely on individual negotiations. So I am pleased he is able to take 3 mths leave of absence but can’t help thinking about the fact he’s not going to be any help in the long run.
    There was an article in the paper today about the cases of women on maternity leave being effectively sacked, and maternity leave is actually protected under the law. It’s a legal right, and still they try and weasel (apologies to otter kind) you out of it. The barriers to people seeking treatment for depression/anxiety is not just the stigma attached to it in the sense people mean when they (rightly) congratulate Robb on helping to dispel that stigma but also the knowledge that you cannot afford to turn your life upside down to deal with it properly, so best in the end *not* to have official confirmation. It’s a drama to even have one sick day off, having to tramp up to the doctors for a med cert, so best not to bother and to soldier on. Three months leave of absence with a job to come back to resides with flying cars, personal jet packs and robot maids in the worlds of most people.
    And of course if you do get sacked for being courageous enough to try and “dispel the stigma” to your boss, Robb et al would like to see your avenues of unfair dismissal taken away.
    So good for him as far as it goes, wish him well as an individual but can’t help flash forwarding to the heat of the federal election campaign in six months time and guarantee he will be complaining about employees having too many rights. This will make me cross.

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