SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher's colleagues offered messages of support Monday, one day afterhe announced he will check into a treatment center this week for post-traumatic stress, trauma, and alcohol abuse -- and forgo a run for State Senate.
"It takes courage to seek help," Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas said in a Twitter post. "Thank you Supervisor Fletcher for your leadership and for openly sharing your personal struggles."
Supervisor Joel Anderson, meanwhile, said, "My prayers go out to my colleague Nathan Fletcher and his family during this difficult time in his life and I encourage all San Diegans who are quietly suffering with mental health issues to seek help."
Sunday, Fletcher released the following statement:
"For many years, I have been suffering from devastating post-traumatic stress associated with combat piled on top of intense childhood trauma that has been exacerbated by alcohol abuse. While I have shared some of these challenges publicly, they run much deeper than I have acknowledged. Outwardly, I have projected calm and composure. Internally, I have been waging a struggle that only those closest to me have seen; the detrimental impact on my relationships, mood, and inability to sleep," Fletcher said.
"I have to seek help. With the recommendation of my therapist and the insistence of my wife, this week I will be checking into an extended inpatient treatment center for post-traumatic stress, trauma, and alcohol abuse. I have no doubt I will not only make a full recovery but will come back stronger, more connected, and present. However, it is clear I need to focus on my health and my family and do not have the energy to simultaneously pursue a campaign for the State Senate."
Monday, his colleagues rallied behind Fletcher.
"As public servants, we have a lot to give but we must take care of ourselves to serve others," Vargas' tweet added. "I am sure that with the help of healthcare professionals and the love and support of your family, you will heal. We wish you a swift recovery."
Added Anderson: "Supervisor Fletcher and I share the same commitment to provide mental health services to those who need it most -- including the veteran community that he is a part of."
Anderson went on to way, "The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs estimates that 7% of veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder. It takes immense strength and courage to ask for help, so I am proud of everyone who takes the first step in getting their mental health on track."
In addition, Anderson reminded San Diegans that the county's Behavioral Health Services Department has a confidential and free Access & Crisis Line. It offers support and resources on topics including -- but not limited to -- alcohol and substance use support services, crisis intervention, mental health referrals, and more.
The ACL can be reached at 1-888-724-7240.