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Maurice Benard Opens up About Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts


The recent death of Stephen “tWitch” Boss on Dec. 14 hit Hollywood hard as they reeled from the popular dancer’s apparent suicide. And GENERAL HOSPITAL star Maurice Benard (Sonny), who has always been an outspoken advocate for mental health and suicide prevention, shared his own feelings about the loss on social media.

“I was a big fan of Stephen “tWitch” Boss ever since I saw him on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE,” he posted to Instagram with a clip from the music video for “We Are the World.” “Incredible dancer. And I used to watch him and his beautiful wife and kids dance on social media. It filled my heart.

“I’m not gonna assume I know why he passed away,” Benard added. “I just know that it hit me really hard, and I feel very, very sad. RIP tWitch.” He also included the hashtags “#suicideprevention,” “#love,” “#family,” and “#help.”

The GH star has always been very open about speaking openly about his own struggles with mental health and suicidal thoughts, both through his Christopher Award-winning memoir Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital and his ongoing YouTube series State of Mind

During a 2016 interview with Dr. Oz on his television show, Benard shared how when he was put into a mental institution as a teenager, he tore a latch off the wall and considered cutting his own wrists with it. “And I started praying, ‘God, help me,’” he recalled. “And I took the latch, bent it, and made it into a cross and put it by my bed.”

Although the actor’s bipolar is currently under control through medication, the recent years dealing with the COVID pandemic, GH’s shutting down production during the lockdown, and his own father being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s sent him spiraling. “It was the end of the world — in my head,” Benard admitted in a 2021 interview with the Christopher Closeup podcast. “It hit me so hard. That anxiety was horrific.”

Confessing that his thoughts were running away with him, Benard found himself confronting suicidal thoughts again. “I was in the car with my son and I was crying and I said, ‘Buddy, I don’t think I can go on any longer,’” he revealed. “And he goes, ‘What, Dad?’ I said, “I don’t think I can.’ Then he says, “Dad, I’ll take care of you.’ And he did. And my other kids were great, too.”

Benard hopes that sharing his own personal struggles inspires others who are similarly struggling to reach out and get the help that they need. “Get help now,” he urged. “I know I look strong and I’m tough, but there is a fragile side to me that’s unbearable. So if I can do it, anybody can do it.”

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, reach out to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988.

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