Just over a month since Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced her departure from duty Aug. 7 to seek mental health treatment at an out-of-state facility, her official return date has been announced as Oct. 2.

The October date extends the original date Hidalgo’s medical team anticipated, which was early September. Instead, according to a news release from her office, she will be discharged from the facility on Sept. 16 and transition to outpatient care.

In their own words

Here is Hidalgo's full public statement:

"Dear People of Harris County:

"Thank you to my colleagues, family, and the Harris County community for the outpouring of support that I received after I announced I was seeking inpatient mental health treatment for depression. I have been deeply touched by all the messages that I have received, not only from Harris County residents but from across the country. So many people wrote to me to share their own struggles with mental health and their support for my decision to be public about my journey. I am encouraged that so many in our community agree that treatment for mental illness should be normalized just as seeking treatment [for] any illness is accepted and expected.

"After my time in a fantastic inpatient facility, I am feeling a lot better. I am looking forward to being discharged this Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023; starting outpatient care; and reacclimatizing to life outside a mental health facility. My initial treatment plan had me returning to my regular schedule in September, but my discharge date was moved back, which moves back the reacclimatization period. The way my doctors explained reacclimatization to me is that you would not go from heart surgery straight to running a marathon, in the same way that they do not want me to go straight back to my usual schedule.

"I am feeling great and looking forward to returning on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023. Thanks to the incredible medical team that has cared for me over the past several weeks, I feel so much stronger than I have ever been.

"I continue to maintain lines of communication with my staff, and the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management remains fully prepared to respond to any potential incident, as well as request my presence if necessary.

"I am grateful for your continued support. I look forward to sharing more about my experience, and most of all, I am eager to return to the community and the job that I love.


"Lina Hidalgo

"Harris County judge"