During the last federal election, MP Seamus O’Regan unseated MP Ryan Cleary for the riding of St. John’s South – Mt. Pearl. On Sunday January 3rd, O’Regan announced he has sought treatment at a rehab.

“I’ve decided after consultation with family that I can be most effective as a Member of Parliament by adopting an alcohol free lifestyle,” O’Regan tweeted. “To that end, over the holiday break, I have entered a wellness program. I will return to my duties as the Member of Parliament for St. John’s South – Mount Pearl prior to Parliament resuming in January.”

His 4th of 4 Tweets on the matter said, “I will have more to say on this subject later. In the meantime, my family I ask for privacy. Thank you.”

With so many citizens of NL crying out about the state of mental health and addictions in the province, O’Regan’s openness — albeit, if only to get ahead of the story — is warmly welcomed. 1 in 5 people in this province will suffer from a mental health issue or addiction in their lifetime.Surely, you or someone you know has or does.

We should not be surprised or scrutinizing the man at this time, just supportive and understanding. And here’s to hoping such transparency from a local MP can only eventually help the plight of our mental health and addictions assistance and services in NL.