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On Our Minds is the name of KERA's mental health news initiative. The station began focusing on the issue in 2013, after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Coverage is funded in part by the Donna Wilhelm Family Fund and Cigna.

Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk Is Resigning To Focus On Her Mental Health

Susan Hawk announced her resignation as Dallas County district attorney Tuesday afternoon so she can focus on her mental health.

In a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, Hawk wrote “my health needs my undivided attention.”

Hawk has been in and out of treatment for depression and anxiety since August 2015. In May, Hawk was admitted to The Menninger Clinic in Houston, where she spent two months last fall. She returned to Dallas in early June, but wasn’t cleared to work. Days later, she left for Arizona to continue treatment for depression.

During that time, Hawk said in a news release:

“Mental illness is a fluid and dynamic disease that calls for unexpected and prolonged treatment. Like tens of millions of Americans that suffer from mental illness, I did not choose this disease, but I am choosing to treat it aggressively and openly in an effort to provide transparency from our office, and to encourage others living with similar struggles to be proactive in treatment and not live in shame.”

The Dallas Morning News reported in early August that Hawk had worked just 66 days this year. 

Hawk has been in office since January 2015.

Abbott will appoint an interim district attorney but his office gave no immediate indication Tuesday when that may happen.

Last October, after a two-month absence, she talked about mental illness, treatment and lessons learned with KERA.   

"I’ll tell you, I love this job so much. I care about the courthouse, the criminal justice system, I’ve dedicated my entire adult life to this. If there was a second or a moment that I felt like I was not capable of doing this job, I would step down.”

Hawk was elected to the position in 2014. Listen to her conversation with KERA about her plans as district attorney days before she took office in January 2015.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.