EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Senator John Fetterman has checked into the hospital to be treated for clinical depression. Following his stroke last year many are concerned for his long-term health.

Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman suffered a stroke in May. On Thursday, he was admitted to the hospital for treatment for clinical depression. Experts say that both strokes and heart attacks can have a long-term lasting impact on mental health.

“Both of those are correlated with depression, both in terms of the aftermath of a stroke or heart attack, but also as a precursor,” said Tom Longenecker, a clinical supervisor at Retreat Behavioral Health.

While Senator Fetterman has said publicly that he has suffered from bouts of depression in the past. Experts say a stroke has the potential to deepen the symptoms.

“The stressors of the event can also be something that exacerbates the symptoms of depression. Fatigue, listlessness, lack of motivation, apathy, I’m not enjoying the things I once enjoyed,” Longenecker added.

As a Senator, Fetterman is reaching a large audience with the potential to break the mental health stigma.

“I think that Senator Fetterman is not in the minority in terms of people in high profile very stressful situations and professions. Who do experience major depression or significant depression he is in a minority in terms of people in his position who have been public about advocating for his own mental health,” Longenecker continued.

Experts say that openness will hopefully give others the courage to seek the help they need.

“So many people the issues, the hard issues are initiating and starting to get the help that is needed. And I would just say anecdotally so many people that we work with, wish that they had done it sooner,” Longenecker explained.

Finding relief from depression can take time.

“Depression generally does not simply go away on its own. At least major depression does not simply fade away on its own. It requires intensive engagement, both using meds but alongside therapy and some other kinds of interventions,” stated Longenecker.

Mental health advocates emphasize that addressing unseen mental health concerns are just as important as physical needs.