For the past two and a half years I have dedicated myself to serving my province and my political party, with an eventual goal of running for election as an MLA.

During this time, I have had the great pleasure of connecting with various members of our party and citizens of our province, and I have made many great friends that I know will last a lifetime, from across the political spectrum.

Shortly after joining the Alberta Party Provincial Board, my closest friend passed away unexpectedly. I found myself in a very dark place and I sunk myself even further into my involvement in politics and took on expanded roles within the Party as a means of distraction and avoidance of my own struggles. I was fortunate that after a period of time where I was suffering from extreme anxiety attacks and depression, I was able to get the help that I needed and get my life back on track.

Unfortunately, as I sunk myself into my volunteering and my own mental health, I grew apart from my husband and our relationship became distant and I didn’t see that he was facing a dark struggle of his own.

Last spring, he confessed to me that he had made plans to end his life and that he couldn’t carry on anymore. Fortunately for me, his not being able to secure life insurance that would take care of me in his departure caused him to delay his plans and seek help.

Over the past month, we had an opportunity to disconnect from life for a short period of time and travel together and reconnect as a couple. It has helped he and I to refocus on what is important in life and to understand what more he needs for support on his mental health journey.

My signed nomination candidacy papers have been sitting on my desk for a month ready to be submitted to Elections Alberta, but over the course of the past month, the change in perspective and priority has made it clear to me that it is not yet the right time for my family to enter public life via seeking elected office.   As such I have decided that I will not be seeking nomination or be running in the 2019 election.

The Alberta Party is full of wonderful people, with great ideas, and deep passion for serving our province and its people. I am so proud of our new leader, our caucus, our board members, the staff, and volunteers that I have had the great pleasure to serve together with. They will make excellent government members. I am still committed to helping as many of them get there as I can.

To everyone who has provided me with encouragement to run, please know that I will continue to serve my community, my party, and my province, and that this isn’t the end of my involvement, but just a chance to hit pause and focus on what is most important at this stage in my life.

I will continue to grow my networks and connections and be prepared to serve in the future at a time where I can give my full commitment, with a healthy and happy husband by my side.

Stay tuned for more updates.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please call the Alberta Health Services Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642. They provide 24/7 confidential support, including crisis intervention, access to mental health programs and services, and referrals to other agencies.

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