John Fetterman returns to Senate after depression treatment

U.S. Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA)
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Sen  John Fetterman (D-Pa.) returned to the Senate two months after he checked into  Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he received treatment for clinical depression, CNN reports. Fetterman started inpatient treatment in February and was discharged last month.

As he arrived at the Capitol on his first day back, Fetterman told reporters, "It's great to be back," before declining to answer questions. His return coincided with the Senate coming back into session on Apr. 17 after a two-week recess.

"I want everyone to know that depression is treatable, and treatment works," Fetterman said in a statement after his release in March. "This isn't about politics — right now there are people who are suffering with depression in red counties and blue counties. If you need help, please get help."

The Pennsylvania Democrat had dealt with  "depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks," his chief of staff explained in February after announcing that the senator had decided to seek treatment.

Legislators from both parties "expressed support for the Pennsylvania Democrat as he underwent treatment for clinical depression," CNN says, "and Fetterman's decision to seek treatment opened up a broader conversation on Capitol Hill about mental health."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, told CNN's Lauren Fox that Fetterman "saved lives" by being open about his struggles with depression and his choice to seek help. "I think John Fetterman saved lives by being a prominent person who stepped up and said he had a problem with mental health issues and he would seek treatment in a very visible and public way," Warren said.

Fetterman is one of three senators who have been absent due to medical reasons, Reuters says. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also returned on Monday after being treated for a concussion after he fell last month. Sen.Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has been out since early Match after being hospitalized for shingles.

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