Ruth Davidson has opened up on her battle with depression, calling for Holyrood parties to work together to offer support to those struggling with mental health. 

Speaking to the Daily Express, the Scottish Conservative leader opened up about her previous struggled with self-harm, suicidal thoughts and depression during her time in university.  And she admitted she is currently being “ultra-careful” after giving birth last year. 

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In an interview, she said: "First of all I’d encourage anyone who has mental ill health issues or worries or concerns to be able to talk about it. There’s that old granny’s adage that a problem shared is a problem halved. We have to get better at talking about this.

“I have talked about my own struggles when I was a much younger woman and how it has alerted me to the fact I have to keep on top of this. It’s not something you either have or don’t have, that you cure or don’t cure.

“It’s something that has to be managed through the whole of my life and you have to be particularly aware during pressure points.

“Obviously right now I would consider this to be one. So I am being really ultra-careful."

She added: "Having had a child, having been off work for a significant period and being plunged back into that, having a big change in my domestic situation – that’s an area where there would be potential for me to slip.

HeraldScotland:

“I am kind of super on top of that at the moment. I am trying to make sure I do regular exercise, that I give myself a bit of space in certain areas, all of the things that work for me.”

The MSP also called for more to be done to tackle cyberbullying and for social media firms to be held accountable and for the Scottish Government to work together to provide more support. 

She said: “As a former journalist I do believe in freedom of speech. But you do also have to have responsibility with that. If you are a publisher, the rules of publishing should apply and that’s what we have not seen in the space of the internet.

“I genuinely think that while obviously, individuals account for their own actions there is more work that platforms which host these individuals can do to send a message that if you want to participate, if you want to use our resource, in order to spread your message you have got to live by a set of agreed rules across society.

“It used to be the case that if you were bullied at school, you could go home and that was a respite.

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“But now kids are taking their phones with them and they are being bullied, there is no place for them to escape. So we really do need to be able to look at this.”

Outlining what more could be done, Davidson said: "We have worked really hard in here, when the mental health strategy for Scotland lapsed to make sure that government brought forward another one, that we look at the provision of services, particularly for the young.

“We were at a situation where there were no mental health beds north of Dundee for anyone under the age of 18. That’s not acceptable. We see so more many people who are referred through the CAMHS [child and adolescent mental health services] process that then don’t get what they need and sometimes an 18 or 20-week wait is just too long.”