A parliamentary candidate with depression and anxiety has encouraged others with mental health problems to go into politics.

Olivia Palmer, 28, stood for the Green Party in the Esher and Walton constituency. She lost out to Dominic Raab but received 2,355 votes.

She said: "At the first church hustings I was so terrified, I had practised my speech at work in front of friends but even then I was visibly shaking. My underlying fear was letting down my party and people that supported and believed in me."

Miss Palmer said a low point came during Easter. She said: "Everything became a negative in my eyes, every press release, every meeting, I felt like such a failure."

Realising she was unwell, she went to the doctor.

She said: "It is only since 2012 that people with a history of serious mental health conditions have been permitted to stand as MPs, I have only touched on the barriers that they still face today. I suspect this lack of representation in such positions contributes to the lack of research and support for the crisis of mental health."

Despite the pressures and anxiety she felt, Miss Palmer said the experience was overwhelmingly positive.

She said: "I would love to encourage people with mental health problems to follow in my footsteps, the people who understand mental illness the best are those who suffer from it, we need to be represented at the highest levels."