Archbishop reflects on mental illness and depression in Pause for Thought

The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Reverend Justin WelbyAP

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he is beginning to understand more about depression from his daughter, Katharine Welby.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby was speaking in Pause for Thought on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Monday morning.

He spoke sympathetically of people struggling with depression and mental illness, and particularly the difficulty of living with stigma.

"Mental illness is just illness, no more or less bad. The problem is that it often does not involve physical signs and people with mental illness gets stigmatised, isolated, ignored and that makes them worse," he said.

Instead of stigma, the Archbishop said people with mental illness need help.

He said he was also learning to understand more about depression from his eldest daughter, Katharine, who blogs and tweets about her own experience with the condition.

"From her and from someone else whose story I have heard recently I have begun to understand more," he said.

"Both of them are Christians, and both talk about God loving them even when depression shuts them off from every emotion and hope. Love that does not change even when the person loved does change – now that is something fantastic."

He added: "My own experience is whether I do well or badly, whether life is hard or easy, that I know I am loved by Jesus regardless, and that is what gets me out of bed in the morning."