From: Greg Ferriss



As a student at Winona State University studying for a master’s in clinical mental health, I am asked why people don’t seek treatment when they struggle with mental health issues. One of the biggest reasons is simple: shame. As much as we might think in 2023 that we are beyond the mental health stigma that plagued our parents and grandparents, we are mistaken. Shaming those who seek mental health treatment is unfortunately alive and well in our country today.

To see this, one needs to look no further than Senator John Fetterman. On Thursday, February 16, Senator Fetterman checked himself into a hospital to receive treatment for clinical depression. While many sources praised him for proactively seeking his own mental health, others quickly used the opportunity to question his fitness for duty. Just one day after Senator Fetterman actively sought mental health care, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham accused the wives of both Joe Biden and John Fetterman of “pushing their men beyond their limits” for political power. 

Senator Fetterman is in the hospital for treatment less than a day and his political rivals are claiming he is unfit to hold office. Is there any wonder why everyday people who fight mental illness are afraid to seek treatment? For every senator we shame for seeking mental health treatment, there will be thousands who do not seek treatment when symptoms present because they don’t want to be shamed by others.