Mental health is a common topic of conversation in the household of Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman and wife, Gisele Fetterman. In observation of Mental Heal Awareness Month, 100.7 Star’s Bubba Show welcomed Gisele on air to discuss the ways mental health has impacted their family and what techniques they’ve used to come out of the struggles stronger.
LISTEN NOW: Gisele Fetterman opens up about husband, Senator John Fetterman’s clinical depression and how it’s changed their family
After suffering a stroke in May of 2022, Senator Fetterman made headlines as he checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to seek help for his clinical depression in February. While wife Gisele shared the Senator had struggled with depression his whole life, she noticed a new level of sadness, prompting her to assist him in seeking professional help.
“John has always been sad, that’s just part of his personality,” Gisele shared. “Very Abraham Lincoln, very melancholic, very empathetic — carries the pain of many people — and that’s something I was very used to. It’s just who he was and I loved who he was and that’s a part of his personality.”
While his melancholy state was the norm, Gisele knew her husband needed to seek professional help when the weight of his political race never lifted, even after he declared victory. “It was after he won, you expect someone to have a reaction,” she shared of the moment she knew something needed to be done. “I expected to see a relief, like a weight lifted off his shoulders after he won and it just wasn’t there and that’s when it was alarming to me.”
Months after seeking help at one of his darkest times, Gisele says husband, John Fetterman, is doing great and they’ve used the opportunity to open up the conversation surrounding mental health with their kids.
“We’re very open,” she said. “I think the biggest gift you can give children is honesty — of course, age appropriate — but we’re very open and honest as a family. What we share with them is that Daddy is one of millions.”
She continued, “I want them to know that this is the history now in our family. I think it’s really important to know family history. I want them to be aware of that, to look for signs. To always be working on your mental health, I think that’s something that you have to work on always, but I think honesty is a really important gift that you can give.”
Listen to Gisele’ full conversation with The Bubba Show to hear more about how she handles her own mental health struggles, an update on the Senator’s health, and more.
Audacy's I’m Listening initiative aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Additionally, the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 988. Find a full list of additional resources here.