MPP MacLeod Back At Work After Bipolar Diagnosis

By Charlie Senack

After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and metabolic disorder, Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod said she is returning to Queen’s Park.

On June 24 the local representative announced she was taking time off to focus on “health and healing.” In a statement released on Oct. 20, she said the decision came after a mental health crisis which occurred in May.

“While I began a gradual return to work in August with the blessing of these same healthcare professionals I continued with therapy, assessments and testing,” MacLeod wrote. “Throughout this period my family and I have learned I am living with both bipolar and metabolic disorders. While initially it was difficult to come to grips with these diagnoses, I recognize these are realities many people also have to manage.”

MacLeod said that with the right medication, regular therapy and changes to her nutritional and exercise routines, she will be able to manage these concurrent diagnoses.

The Nepean MPP has battled mental illness before, and considered leaving politics altogether at one of her lowest points. MacLeod’s latest mental health crisis came in the midst of the June provincial election which she won with 39 per cent of the vote, a weaker margin than in the past. She celebrated her win differently this spring with a private victory party which the media was barred entry from.

On June 24, the same day MacLeod announced she was taking time off, the Barrhaven-area representative wasn’t picked for a cabinet position.

MacLeod served as the minister in charge of community and social services for one year before moving to the tourism, culture, and sport profile.

In her letter to constituents MacLeod thanked a long list of people including her family, medical professionals at various local hospitals, Premier Doug Ford, and a number of Progressive Conservative MPPs.

Now back at work after a four-month break, MacLeod said she would continue to take her duty of serving Nepean residents seriously.

“I will also spend my time working on public policy matters such as women’s leadership and protection issues, children’s sports, recreation and culture as well as mental health, anti bullying and suicide prevention as I have done since the beginning of my career,” she wrote.

MacLeod also thanked local councillors Jan Harder and Scott Moffatt, along with Mayor Jim Watson and federal Conservative party leader Pierre Poilievre.