Gibson says others’ stories got him over collapse
GYMPIE MP David Gibson has told Queensland Parliament "everyday angels" helped him fight back from a nervous breakdown.
Mr Gibson paid homage to ABC's Mental As programming during Mental Health Week as a source of inspiration for Australians battling mental illness.
"Despite the fact that one in five Australians will experience a mental illness in the next 12 months, when you are the one experiencing it, it can be an incredibly isolating feeling," he said.
"So to know that you are not alone . . . to hear of stories on the television and radio is perhaps one of the most powerful things that can assist in seeking help, and getting the support individuals need to recover."
Reports that one-fifth of people working in Parliament House took antidepressants did not come as a surprise to the embattled politician.
"At the end of the day as MPs, we are no different to anyone else: cut us and we bleed, abuse us and it hurts - even if we choose not to show it," he said.
Mr Gibson said support from within the electorate was key to his return to parliament in June.
"In my case, it was people in the community, friends and strangers who reached out to me in difficult times to show me that I was not on my own."
Mr Gibson went on sick leave on April 30, and announced on May 2 that he was experiencing a nervous breakdown.
The breakdown followed revelations on April 22 about his theft of $7000 from the Army in 1999, a matter for which he was dealt with by the courts and no conviction was recorded.
Mr Gibson indicated at that time he would continue to serve until the next state election, but would not be standing for re-election.
His past was revealed online by a former supporter, Rainbow Beach businessman Scott Elms, who was expelled from the LNP.
Four weeks after Mr Gibson's breakdown, Mr Elms announced he would not be standing as an independent, saying a backlash from Mr Gibsons' supporters had ruined his life.