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Former Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf Opens Up About Mental Health Struggles and New Fitness Goals

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Humza Yousaf acknowledges 'recent weeks have been challenging' as he discusses his mental health

The ex-first minister of Scotland has revealed he is starting the Couch To 5k program to boost both his physical and mental well-being.

Political journalist @fayebrownSky

Thursday, May 9, 2024, 9:

Humza Yousaf openly declared that he feels "no shame" in acknowledging that his mental health was impacted following his departure from the role of Scottish First Minister.

The ex-chief of the SNP mentioned in a social media update that it's "okay not to be okay" and admitted "the last few weeks have been really tough".

He revealed his commitment to the Couch To 5k initiative, aimed at boosting his physical and mental well-being, through a video statement, remarking, "Politicians frequently fail to follow their own advice. Yet, we consistently advocate for others to engage in physical activity."

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"It benefits your physical well-being and significantly boosts your mental health as well."

"I must admit that over the past year, and honestly throughout the past 12 years of my tenure as a minister, I haven't engaged much in physical activity. In fact, the last 13 months have seen me at my least fit. This presents a chance for me to regain my physical fitness."

He mentioned that his actions were aimed at improving not only his physical well-being but also his mental health.

Humza Yousaf officially steps down as Scotland's First Minister, submitting his resignation to the King.

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Mr. Yousaf stated, "I am completely open about the fact that the past few weeks have been quite challenging for my mental health. I plan to take measures to enhance my mental well-being in the upcoming days, weeks, and months as much as possible."

"Undoubtedly, one approach is to focus on physical fitness. Therefore, I released this video to ask for prayers for Humza, as it’s been a while since I last engaged in running or any similar physical exercise."

Mr. Yousaf had to resign by the end of April following the cancellation of the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens.

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The agreement, aimed at aiding governance among the two pro-independence factions in Holyrood, was deemed to have "served its purpose" by Mr. Yousaf, following a heated dispute regarding the SNP's retreat from ambitious environmental goals.

However, the decision led to him confronting votes of no confidence from his adversaries, and he eventually acknowledged that he had "misjudged the extent of pain and distress" his actions had provoked.

He chose to resign from his prominent position after only 13 months, a move that followed the unexpected departure of Nicola Sturgeon last February.

John Swinney, previously the deputy first minister, has assumed the leadership role after winning the race without opposition. He officially took office earlier this week.

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