Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley MSP, Elena Whitham, has shared a brave update opening up about her own mental health battles.

Ms Whitham stepped down from her role as Scotland's minister for drugs and alcohol policy back in February, due to treatment for post-traumatic stress.

In a letter to then-First Minister Humza Yousaf at the time, she said the condition had "greatly" affected her wellbeing.

Now, the SNP representative for the area has opened up on her own battles over the past few weeks and months.

Ayr Advertiser: The Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley representative stepped down from her role as Scotland's minister for drugs and alcohol policy in February.The Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley representative stepped down from her role as Scotland's minister for drugs and alcohol policy in February. (Image: NQ Archive)

These include not being able to move from the sofa, and everyday tasks feeling like too much for Ms Whitham.

In a transparent update, the MSP said: "Mentally I am in a much better place than I was in February when I had retreated into the cocooned safety of my home and some days could not move from the sofa.

"A culmination of trauma had left me in a place where I did not recognise myself.

"My wonderful husband was worried sick to see me struggling with everyday tasks and simple decisions about what to have for tea were beyond me.

"My anxiety was through the roof and I had a very heightened fight or flight response. It was exhausting."

Ms Whitham added: "I have been having regular therapy and have realised that my adult trauma sparked off a return to a state of childhood trauma.

"It has been invaluable to be able to process this and discuss what happened to me in a safe place with a safe person.

"I am deeply sad to have stepped back from my ministerial role as it was something I am deeply passionate about but I needed to focus on getting better.

"Slowly but surely, I am getting there. I am not glued to my sofa anymore & recognise the power of moving."

Anyone struggling with their mental health can contact the following numbers for support:

  • 999 in a mental health emergency
  • Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 during opening hours
  • Samaritans on 24/7 on 116 123
  • Childline on 24/7 on 0800 1111
  • PAPYRUS on 24/7 on 0800 068 4141