Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni recently posted a selfie with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. While her followers appreciated the candid moment, other pictures from the same event instantly went viral, and internet users noticed that Ms Meloni had been using a phone cover inscribed with anti-anxiety advice.
The back of Ms. Meloni’s mobile cover showcased quotations and cartoons dotted around the words “Affirmations for Anxiety.” With the world dealing with a mental health crisis, the message on the smartphone case resonated with people across the globe.
Interestingly, Ms Meloni is one of the leaders to have publicly addressed the issue of anxiety and has been open about her struggle with the disorder. In a video on her Instagram account, the PM talked about how she has been suffering from depression and anxiety since the age of 14. She also shared how she took time off work to attend a therapy session.
She further mentioned that she now practices meditation and a few other relaxation techniques to manage her symptoms. “I have a hectic schedule, and I don’t have a lot of time to relax, but I’m trying to find ways to manage my condition.”
In a recent tweet, the PM praised her visit to India and thanked the country for extending ‘warm hospitality.’ She also added that India and Italy share common values of spirituality, culture, and democracy.
Ms Meloni is the leader of the hard-right Brothers of Italy party and has been Italy’s prime minister since 22 October 2022, but she has worked to project a softer image since her election. Her government has promised to improve mental health services but faces a funding crunch. While other high-income countries allocate 10 percent of their budget to mental health, Italy only spends 3 percent on the sector.
The country’s ‘family-first’ PM has also come under fire for cracking down on surrogate pregnancies. Her French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, has also criticized her party’s hard-line stance on LGBTQ+ rights.
In the latest news, Ms Meloni’s relationship with television journalist Andrea Giambruno has ended after he was caught making lewd comments on air. “My relationship with Andrea, which lasted almost ten years, ends here,” she wrote on social media.
Ms Meloni has also been in the news for several other reasons, including her controversial remarks about fatigue over the Ukraine conflict. Her party has also been criticized for its treatment of migrants and for failing to pass key reforms. It is expected that Ms Meloni will face a tough election next year.