NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Chirlane McCray, the wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio, got personal Wednesday as she spoke at a public health conference in Brooklyn.

During the event at Brooklyn Borough Hall, McCray revealed that at a young age she witnessed her parents’ bouts of depression.

“Both my mother, a daughter of immigrants, and my father, a World War II veteran, struggled with depression — although neither one of them would have called it that,” McCray said. “They were hardworking, committed parents. And to their enormous credit, even when they experienced periods of intense sadness, they tried their best to give their children all we needed.”

She then described her shock when her college-age daughter, Chiara de Blasio, revealed her struggles with depression and substance abuse.

“A high performing individual was struggling with these issues right beneath our nose,” McCray said, adding that when she learned about her own daughter’s issues, she felt guilt, fear, uncertainty — and love.

McCray, who chairs the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, made the remarks while announcing a new initiative to improve the mental health system.

“Too many of us aren’t yet ready to face up to the presence of mental illness in our lives. We ignore it. We sweep it under the rug. We cross the street,” McCray said. “But no matter how hard we try to avoid it, the truly shocking reality is that our city and nation are experiencing a mental health crisis.”

McCray announced the fund will be partnering with the Health Department and the Fund for Public Health to create a roadmap to address the mental health crisis head-on.

“We’re going to make a plan…and then we’re going to backup that plan with people and programs,” McCray said.

It was hard to find the right programs to fit Chiara’s needs, “and that’s why I’m here today and why I’m so excited to announce the roadmap that will guide us to a more inclusive mental health system,” McCray said.

Her daughter is now “kicking butt at recovery” and helping others with similar challenges, McCray said.

More details about the initiative will be provided this summer.

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