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.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The elected leader of the most populous county in the state announced she is stepping away temporarily from her duties to seek treatment for clinical depression.

In a letter sent to residents Monday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo shared she is currently at a facility outside of Texas receiving care “based on the advice of her doctors.” She will most likely return to her normal schedule by September, her office said.

“I am writing to share with you that I am one of the over 21 million American adults that is suffering from clinical depression,” Hidalgo wrote in her letter. “For some time, I have been coping with this challenge, and it was undiagnosed until last month. Based on my doctor’s recommendation, I checked myself into an out of state facility to receive inpatient treatment in late July.”

During her leave over the next few weeks, Hidalgo said the county’s most senior commissioner, Rodney Ellis, will preside over commissioners court and other official proceedings. She also said her chief of staff will oversee the day-to-day operations in her office. She added she will remain in communication with key county staff members in order to take care of other duties as county judge.

In her letter, the 32-year-old Democrat said she wanted to be open about her struggles and encouraged others to seek treatment if they need help with their mental health.

“If you need help finding support in Harris County, the Department of Public Health maintains a list of mental health resources that residents can find at: publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/Resources/Mental-Health-Resources, or you can call 9-8-8,” Hidalgo wrote. “Remember to prioritize your own health and that you are not alone.”

Hidalgo is not the only elected official to take leave this year and seek treatment for depression. Following his win in the contentious Pennsylvania Senate race, Democratic Sen. John Fetterman checked himself into a hospital for clinical depression in February. This came months after he suffered a stroke before the 2022 election.

Travis County Judge Andy Brown shared a statement Monday afternoon about his counterpart in Harris County.

“I am grateful that I get to work with Judge Hidalgo and respect her for making the difficult decision to prioritize her health,” Brown said. “Stigma prevents far too many people from getting the help they need. Once more Judge Hidalgo is leading the way and setting an example that mental health care is important.”

Other Texas Democratic leaders shared their well wishes Monday to Hidalgo and commended her for seeking care.

“By publicly addressing both her disorder – as well as her brave decision to seek treatment for it – Judge Hidalgo has likely saved lives today, opening the door for other suffering Texans to feel comfortable getting the help they desperately need,” Gilberto Hinojosa, the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, said in a statement. “Judge: our prayers are with you. You’re a true chingona — one of the toughest, most badass women in our state – and we have no doubt you’re going to come out on the other side of this even stronger than you were before, ready as ever to continue leading the citizens of Harris County with your trademark combination of prudence and gusto. Adelante.”

Kathleen Thompson, the executive director at liberal thinktank Progress Texas, echoed similar sentiments in a separate statement.

“Millions of progressives are wishing Judge Hidalgo the best, and applaud her strength in seeking help and making her illness public,” Thompson said. “As a part of President Biden’s mental health strategy, his administration rolled out the new 988 suicide and crisis chat and call hotline for free and confidential crisis counseling 24/7/365. Because mental healthcare can be lifesaving, Progress Texas encourages all Texans in emotional crisis or distress to reach out.”

Hidalgo narrowly won a second term last year to keep leading Harris County’s government. She first took office in 2018, becoming the first woman in the county’s history to serve as county judge.

Many Texas Democrats lauded her as a rising star in the state’s political scene, while conservatives criticized her over public safety and a strict COVID-19 response. Last year a grand jury also indicted three of her staff members on charges related to how they helped award a contract for COVID-19 vaccine outreach.