AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin City Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison is stepping away from City Hall for the next 60 days for mental health reasons, she posted on a message board to her colleagues.
The council woman from District 1 said starting Monday she will be taking medical leave for 60 days.
“This year has been extremely challenging for me. I live with depression and anxiety. Thankfully these issues can be treated with focused care. Starting Monday, September 25, I will be taking medical leave for 60 days,” she wrote on the message board.
Harper-Madison wrote that she has “every intention” of returning. In the interim, Harper-Madison says her staff will continue serving her district.
“Our Chief of Staff Sharon Mays will manage ongoing projects and lead our team through this challenge. I’m thankful to the office of the City Manager and other City staff for the offers to support my team while I am away,” she wrote.
Several city council members responded to the message wishing Harper-Madison well.
“Please know that your well-being is of paramount importance, and taking this step to prioritize your mental health is a wise and responsible decision. We all understand the immense pressures and demands that come with public service, and it’s crucial to take the time you need to address your depression and anxiety with focused care,” Council Member Mackenzie Kelly wrote.
“I wish you all the best as you take the time needed to heal. Please know that my staff and I are here to support you and your team. I have seen you get through extremely challenging times in the past,” Council Member Leslie Pool said.