Politicians need psychiatric help, says Alastair Campbell

Every politician in Britain should be seeking the help of mental health professionals, according to former Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell.

He believes psychiatrists could help ease stress in the run-up to the elections and help politicians develop the cognitive and emotional skills they need to become better leaders, the Sunday Times (£) reports.

Mr Campbell also revealed that he urged Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to seek couples’ counselling when their working relationship disintegrated – but the prime minister rejected the idea.

After Mr Campbell suggested the services of a psychiatrist who had helped him cope with depression in the run-up to the 2005 election, he claims that Mr Blair said: “I am prepared to think out of the box. But not that far.”

In his new book Winners and How They Succeed, Mr Campbell argues that modern politicians are less effective leaders than senior sport and business professionals because mental health experts are routinely employed to improve performance in those sectors.

Campbell added politicians are afraid of seeing mental health and performance professionals due to the possible stigma it may carry and seeing headlines such as “Cameron has a shrink."

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