Having suffered from bouts of depression, anxiety and sleeplessness throughout his life, Patel revealed he had to take periods of time off work due to his mental health struggles.
He added the amount of support he received at work “differed”.
Patel, who is from Wolverhampton, had been advised against looking at senior roles in his profession as he could be perceived as “weak”.
“I’ve been told: ‘If you want to be a headteacher, chairs of governors and trustees, will think you are weak of character’,” he told Eastern Eye.
“I have worked in organisations with differing levels of support – from feeling like I was truly valued to feeling like I was a burden on the school.”
He believes the acceptance and support concerning mental health was dependent on the experiences of the leadership team.
In one instance, when Patel reached out for help, he was told he would be going for an assessment to organise further support.
“This actually turned out to be a fitness to work interview,” Patel recalled. “I wasn’t even told [this would be happening].”
This is an extract from an interview by Eastern Eye, The rest of the article is