Lib Dem leader hails “inspiring” Angus councillor as Tayside mental health documentary goes live


Cllr Ben Lawrie, seated, and documentary director Stuart Burns before the showing of their film A Confession Of Depression at Monifieth High School.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has hailed what he believes could be a life-saving Tayside documentary.

Monifieth and Sidlaw Lib Dem councillor Ben Lawrie has been working on a documentary called “A Confession of Depression” over the past couple of years with Dundee filmmaker Stuart Burns.

The documentary is now on YouTube following a screening at Monifieth High School for the people that were involved in the production.

Mr Rennie said: “Ben Lawrie has opened up about his experiences with mental health in order to help others.

“It’s a very generous and inspiring act which could save lives.

“People with poor mental health deserve better than the service they receive from the NHS and other public services.

“I know Ben’s campaign will make a difference on that front too.

“I am proud to have Ben as a Liberal Democrat councillor and one that is so effective at standing up for people.”

Ben Lawrie (right) interviewing Willie Rennie for his documentary.

Mr Lawrie, a fourth-year psychology student at St Andrews University, said he hopes the documentary about his mental health journey will assure others going through similar difficulties “that they are not alone”.

He attempted to take his own life in 2013 as he struggled with depression while studying at Dundee College, despite doing well in his coursework and being in a happy relationship

Mr Lawrie, who is now undergoing private counselling and taking medication to help him through the dark days, was elected to Angus Council in 2017 and has continued to speak openly about his struggles since taking up the post.

He said: “We started producing it based on the blog where I originally went public with my struggles with mental health but we’ve used it as a platform to talk to various groups and charities about their experiences too and to promote the services        that are on offer.

“We’ve spoken to groups like Nightline and Student Services at the University of St Andrews so I’m hoping that young people who will be starting university soon will watch this and find out about what support mechanisms will be in place for them to draw upon when they go to university.

“Hopefully, hearing the stories of myself and others who have lived with mental illness will show others going through the same that they are not alone and they don’t have to suffer in silence.”



Link to The Courier article here