If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health complications, the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers resources and support services online. NAMI’s HelpLine is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET Monday through Friday via calling 800-950-6264 or by texting “Helpline” to 62640. Chat services are also available online. In a crisis, call or text 988.
Natasha Harper-Madison, who represents District 1 in east Austin, appeared Tuesday to once again lead the housing and planning committee as chair. At least two of her fellow committee members made comments to welcome her back to the meeting, saying how good it was to see her there.
At the conclusion of the committee meeting, she expressed her “gratitude and appreciation” to the other council members as well as her staff. She said she made her “re-entry” to City Hall this week and promised to keep working on various issues into the new year.
Harper-Madison announced on Sept. 25 that she would step away from her duties for 60 days, citing mental health reasons. She initially shared that information on a message board with her colleagues. At that time, she wrote, “This year has been extremely challenging for me. I live with depression and anxiety. Thankfully these issues can be treated with focused care.”
KXAN reached out Tuesday afternoon to Harper-Madison’s office seeking further comment about her return to work at City Hall. This story will be updated once any responses are shared.
She is not the only elected leader who took leave this year and sought additional care for mental health. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo shared in August she would step away temporarily to seek treatment for clinical depression, while Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in March after six weeks of inpatient treatment for clinical depression.