Albo praises Scomo’s ‘brave’ admission

Anthony Albanese said his former opponent was brave for speaking out about his anxiety. Picture: Martin Ollman/NCA NewsWire.

Anthony Albanese has commended Scott Morrison for admitting to taking anxiety medication while serving in top office, raising fears about the unhealthy nature of online political discourse.

Mr Morrison revealed he was prescribed antidepressants in 2021 while serving as prime minister to deal with acute anxiety caused by “pure physical exhaustion” and the “relentless and callous brutality of politics and media attacks”.

Asked about his former political foe’s candid admission, Mr Albanese praised Mr Morrison for speaking out and revealed that he did not read comments on his own social media accounts because of the negative comments that people made online.

“I thought it was brave of Scott Morrison to talk in such a clear way about something that is so very personal,” Mr Albanese told ABC on Monday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison Gives Update On Afghanistan Evacuation Mission
Scott Morrison spoke about his mental health struggles. Picture: Rohan Thomson/Getty Images.

“The truth is that the pressures of the job are substantial … To go back to our previous discussion on social media, you know, I don’t look at comments on social media. If I did, I wouldn’t be a very balanced or satisfied person.”

“The pressures that are on now on people in public life are different and that includes people in the media and others as well.”

Mr Albanese went on to express concerns about the increasingly negative tone of political debate occurring in Australia but said he thought that it was nowhere near as polarised as other countries like the US.

“We have got to get into a situation of being able to disagree in a civil way and, unfortunately, political discourse has become very difficult in this country,” he said.

Anthony Albanese said public debate had not deteriorated in Australia like in the US. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

“But I thought – and globally, this isn’t a phenomenon just here, of course – and we see some of the division that’s there in the United States, a very divided society, which I don’t think it healthy for a democracy.”

Mr Albanese went on to credit Mr Morrison for speaking out about a “difficult issue”.

“I wish him well in the next phase of his life,” he said.