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Kevin Stewart resigned from his position within the Scottish government after only two months due to his "poor mental health". ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP News

Transport Minister for Scotland, Kevin Stewart, resigned from his two-month-long position within the Scottish government yesterday due to his "poor mental health", which he claimed to have suffered with since last October. Mr Stewart stated in his resignation letter that he had been feeling unwell for the past week and ultimately felt unable to put in the hours required to serve his constituents and hold ministerial office.

Mr Stewart was only appointed as transport minister on March 31st, making him the second incumbent transport chief to quit after such a short period of time, with Graeme Dey also resigning from the position in January 2022 due to health reasons, despite only being appointed during the previous year.

The minister's resignation comes amid a chaotic ferry fiasco in the Western Isles caused by a mainland ferry needing to be removed due to mechanical issues of CalMac's ageing fleet. With this service removed for repairs, long-suffering islanders have been forced to endure an entire month without any ferry services.

Kevin Stewart posted his resignation letter via Twitter, writing of the "heavy heart" in his decision to stand down as Scotland's transport minister.

Unarguably, Mr Stewart had been facing immense pressure to resolve these issues in the Western Isles but instead chose to quit his role with immediate effect, with the government's handling of these lifeline services to the Scottish islands proving to be a complex and daunting task for the transport ministers.

First Minister Humza Yousaf, who personally received Mr Stewart's letter, thanked the minister for his services, saying: "Many people underestimate the pressure on Ministers and I understand why you (Mr Stewart) have felt the need to leave government to concentrate on your mental health and much-loved constituency."

Mr Yousaf added: "You leave with a record you can be proud of. As well as taking on transport in the last two months where you invested in buses and focused on improving the position on ferries, your previous roles have benefited from your expertise and experience."

Despite his resignation, Mr Stewart pledged to continue to serve his fellow constituents by supporting the Scottish government from the back benches.

Ironically, Mr Stewart also served as Scotland's minister for mental well-being and social care from 2021 to 2023 before accepting the role of transport minister. His duties included investigating ways into supporting mental health, adult support and protection, autism, learning difficulties, dementia, and survivors of abusive childhoods.

In retrospect, the decline of mental health appears to be an increasingly common factor in a lot of quitting and resignations of jobs, which can be caused by toxic environments, poor or dismissive management, limited support, effort-reward imbalance, high demands and an intense, pressurising workload that leaves one feeling mentally and physically drained. Because of the stigma still attached to mental health, it can also be extremely difficult to discuss these issues with employers and co-workers out of fear that your concerns won't be addressed seriously, or that you will be judged.

This just reinforces the fundamental importance of effectively addressing the mental health of all workers, even those in a management role that face a large amount of pressure regardless of the nature of their work and providing them with the mental, and emotional support they need.