Former PN MP Mario Galea has addressed a Labour conference about mental health that also featured his former party colleague Roseyln Borg Knight.
Galea resigned his candidature with the PN on the opening day of the election campaign last month.
In his address on Tuesday, Galea said Prime Minister Robert Abela’s wife Lydia had invited him to address the conference. He said he had made it clear upon resigning that he would continue speaking out about mental health issues and animal rights.
“This was my first invite after resigning from politics, I want to do my part to keep mental health high on the agenda”, Galea said while on a podium emblazoned with the 'Robert Abela 2022' slogan.
He later said, via a Facebook post, that mental health should not be politicised and that he always accepted invitations to speak about the matter.
"I was born a Nationalist and will die a Nationalist," he said. "If others want to depict me differently, that's up to them."
Galea, who has long faced mental health issues, claimed after his resignation that he was stigmatised by two PN officials in particular, one of whom has since quit. He refused to identify them but said they had made his life "hell".
Speaking on Tuesday, the former MP said that while he always believed politics should be kept out of mental health issues, this does not mean he should not address a political conference about the topic.
“At the end of the day, it is politicians who can make a difference. It is a balancing act. I am not here to allow people to use me. Neither am I here because I am in favour or against a particular party," he insisted.
He joked that he would be holding Lydia Abela to account, making sure she keeps her promises about tackling mental health.
“Do not forget us once you are in government, whoever may be in government”, he appealed to both political parties.
“I was close to committing suicide two years ago. I am trying to raise more awareness about mental health problems."
Former PN official Roseyln Borg Knight also put in a brief appearing during the conference.
Borg Knight withdrew her candidature for the election in November and resigned from her post as PN international secretary in January.
The former PN official, who described herself as a friend of Lydia Abela, touched up Labour’s children’s guarantee, which the party says will see €145 million invested in our children.
She said providing support to children and youths has a positive impact on their parents, as they will be safe in the knowledge that their children’s future is safeguarded.