Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) checked himself into a hospital this week in order to be treated for depression, according to a statement released by his chief of staff Thursday.
“Last night, Senator John Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment for clinical depression. While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks,” Adam Jentleson, Fetterman’s top aide, said in the statement.
“On Monday, John was evaluated by Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress,” Jentleson added. “Yesterday, Dr. Monahan recommended inpatient care at Walter Reed. John agreed, and he is receiving treatment on a voluntary basis. After examining John, the doctors at Walter Reed told us that John is getting the care he needs, and will soon be back to himself.”
Fetterman was recently hospitalized after experiencing lightheadedness. He was released after testing ruled out a new stroke. Last year, Fetterman experienced a stroke caused by atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat condition. The stroke resulted in an auditory processing disorder, which is common among stroke survivors.
Gisele Fetterman, the senator’s wife, called for privacy during “a difficult time for our family.”
“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. I’m so proud of him for asking for help and getting the care he needs,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Take care of yourselves. Hold your loved ones close, you are not alone,” she added.
Fetterman’s Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle credited him for being forthcoming about mental health, and wished him a quick road to recovery.
“In the short time I’ve worked with John Fetterman, I’ve been struck by his resilience and heart. John is doing exactly what he should do, which is seek help,” Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), who has been outspoken about her own experience with depression, tweeted on Thursday. “Seeking help when you need it is a sign of strength, not weakness, something that John is demonstrating for all of us.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he and his wife “are lifting John up in prayer.”
“Mental illness is real & serious, and I hope that he gets the care he needs. Regardless of which side of the political aisle you’re on, please respect his family’s request for privacy,” Cruz tweeted.
Need help with substance use disorder or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.