Schlossberg says Fetterman shows mental illness can affect anyone

HARRISBURG, Feb. 16 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg offered the following statement regarding today’s news that U.S. John Fetterman checked himself into the hospital for treatment of severe depression.

“I join millions of Pennsylvanians in my most sincere prayers for the well-being and recovery of Sen. Fetterman. The grueling campaign, recent stroke, and history of depression are an extraordinarily difficult combination. I can’t imagine what he or his family have gone through. Elected officials are human -- as human as the people we represent. I hope that people will recognize that in the days and weeks ahead.

“In a lot of regards, the news of Sen. Fetterman’s treatment should be no different than yesterday’s news of Sen. Bob Casey’s cancer treatment. Mental illness affects millions of Americans every year. Treatment for mental illness should be seen as routine as treatment for cancer. When you need help, you seek it.

“Like millions of Pennsylvanians, I’ve struggled with major depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation my entire life. As I know from my own experience, individuals who are appropriately treated can lead good, healthy, and productive lives. Sen. Fetterman has many obligations: to his family, staff, and constituents. Most importantly, he has an obligation to himself: to get the true care he needs.

“My sincerest hope is that people will see someone like Sen. Fetterman and realize that depression as a mental illness can strike anyone. John Fetterman is a larger-than-life figure. He is a husband with a beautiful family, and by any definition his career and life story have been a success. And yet, he has been afflicted with this disease. With treatment, he will recover, and return to both the United States Senate and his family.

“I hope Pennsylvanians from all walks of life will be able to draw faith and resilience from that story,” Schlossberg said.