If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call or text the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 any time day or night, or chat online at 988lifeline.org. Additional mental health resources can be found at the end of this article.
WASHINGTON–Sen. John Fetterman, a Pennsylvania Democrat who has been hospitalized for depression since February, will return to the Senate after the April recess, according to a source close to Fetterman.
He will return the week of April 17, when Congress resumes after a two-week recess and about two months after Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed Medical Military Hospital with clinical depression.
In recent weeks, his wife Gisele Fetterman and chief of staff Adam Jentleson have shared photos of the senator and messages that he was recovering.
“We can do hard things when we do them together,” Gisele Fetterman said in a tweet March 10.
Jentleson shared photos on March 6 of a “productive” morning at the hospital, where they discussed rail safety legislation, the Farm Bill and other Senate business.
“John is well on his way to recovery and wanted me to say how grateful he is for all the well wishes,” Jentleson said at the time.
How John Fetterman helped national conversation on mental health
When Fetterman was hospitalized, well wishes poured into his office, his staffers said.
Some politicians and political analysts said publicly sharing his treatment for depression was one of his best accomplishments as a leader.
For as common as depression is, a politician publicly admitting it and sharing their treatment for it is not. Despite millions who receive treatment, there are millions more suffering in silence, often afraid to reach out for help, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“Sen. Fetterman will do more for people by being honest about this than anything else he’ll do this year in Congress,” former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., told USA TODAY earlier this month.
Kennedy said he struggled with addiction and related mental health challenges, but hid his treatment.
He and other current and former lawmakers came forward to share their personal stories of mental illness after Fetterman publicly shared his.
“The stigma is not yet broken, but it’s breaking,” Rep. Ritchie Torres told USA TODAY earlier this month.
‘Stigma is not yet broken’:Lawmakers share stories on mental health with Fetterman hospitalized
Fetterman stroke recovery ongoing
Fetterman last year raised awareness about stroke victims and recovery, gaining cross-party support in the midterms from others in recovery.
His treatment for depression came as he was still recovering from a May stroke that required the use of closed captioning to help him communicate on the campaign trail and now in the Senate.
“After what he’s been through in the past year, there’s probably no one who wanted to talk about his own health less than John,” Gisele Fetterman said in February. “I’m so proud of him for asking for help and getting the care he needs.”
Fetterman was also hospitalized in early February after feeling lightheaded, and doctors at George Washington University hospital determined he had not had another stroke.
Mental health resources:
- If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call or text the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 any time day or night, or chat online at 988lifeline.org.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522.
- Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860 (para español presiona el 2).
- Veteran’s Crisis Line: 988, then select 1, or text: 838255.
- Support Line for Physicians: 1-888-409-0141 – physiciansupportline.com.
- Help for Native American people: StrongHearts Native Helpline: 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) or chat online.
- Resources for Black people: 988lifeline.org/help-yourself/black-mental-health.
- Ayuda en español: 988lifeline.org/help-yourself/en-espanol.
- Find treatment: findtreatment.gov
Candy Woodall is a Congress reporter for USA TODAY. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @candynotcandace.