Sadiq Khan exclusively opens up about his mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak

Sadiq joined our Entertainment Director and resident interviewer, Josh Smith, on the latest episode of GLAMOUR’s Happy Hour – our Instagram Live chat show that airs every Tuesday at 7pm on @glamourUK that aims to empower, inspire and offer some escapism during self-isolation. Sadiq specifically discussed the effects COVID-19 and the resulting ‘lockdown’ is having on our mental health – and in a move rare for politicians, he divulged how he is managing his own mental health.
Sadiq Khan may be the Mayor of London but behind the headlines and news briefings, his experience of the current pandemic isn’t dissimilar to ours. Like so many of us, Sadiq is adjusting to life working from home and trying to keep his mental health in check… all whilst doing an extraordinary job as our Mayor in an unprecedented time.

In the open and very honest interview, the Mayor of London discussed how he is looking after his own mental health during this time, given that he is inundated with bad news. Sadiq said: “One of the reasons we created #LondonTogether was to keep our spirits up. Even as the Mayor of London, I need to keep my spirits up. I am lucky, unlike millions of Londoners, that I have a decent-sized home, I have a dog, I have my family and we get on most of the time! But of course, it is thoroughly bleak when you hear about people who have lost their lives.”

“It’s heartbreaking hearing that people were not able to say goodbye to loved ones who died from COVID-19,” the Mayor continued. “I have got to keep my mental health positive and part of that is talking to my family and I am lucky because I get to speak to other leaders around the world to discuss how they are managing the situation. My advice to everyone is to think about anyone in your peer group and ask questions, ask how they are coping. We all have to find ways we can cope. Don’t be scared to share your vulnerabilities, if you are feeling down say you are feeling down. What that does is it encourages others to speak and no one is a superhuman.”

Has Sadiq learnt there is a power in leaning into his vulnerability? “Yes! I also have looked after my physical and mental health,” the Mayor replied. “I talk about my feelings with my wife and my daughters. It’s like a rollercoaster. It’s tough, being isolated psychically, so we are honest with each other. We all make mistakes; I’ve made mistakes and it’s important to recognise that. There is no handbook of how to deal with COVID-19 or social distancing. We need to talk about what we do to keep our mental health strong.”

Watch the full video interview on the @glamouruk Instagram page right now as the Mayor of London discusses what the capital is doing to help victims of domestic violence as cases increase, when he anticipates lockdown will finish, why community is more important than ever and how that inspired his #LondonTogether campaign.

The #LondonTogether campaign shows how COVID-19 will affect all Londoners, whether in terms of physical or mental health, financially or within their community. The campaign brings together messages of goodwill and support at a time where community is more important than ever, although we are psychically apart.

You can get involved by sharing your examples of goodwill, or the videos that have bought you joy by sharing your posts with #LondonTogether across social media. Each Friday the Mayor will share the posts in his weekly briefing.

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