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Saturday, July 2, 2022

During the pandemic, ‘General Hospital’ star Maurice Benard launches a mental health web series

On weekdays, you can catch actor Maurice Benard at “General Hospital,” where he’s played mob boss Sonny Corinthos for nearly 30 years. However, on Sundays, you’ll find him sitting in a studio built by his wife on YouTube, where he interviews friends, classmates, and family members about a variety of topics, often related to mental health.

Benard’s weekly web series “State of Mind,” began in the midst of some of the darkest days of the pandemic for the actor and has grown into a powerful outlet for his work as a mental health advocate.

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“It started one night, I was in bed. I woke up and had an anxiety attack and decided to film it,” Benard recalls on a recent phone call. At the same time, he saw Steve Hardy make a joke on television about how people film everything they own and post on Instagram. “I thought, Oh my gosh, here I am doing it,” he says. Following that incident, Benard began posting weekly conversations about his mental health on Instagram before moving to YouTube, where he built up more than 70,000 subscribers.

“A lot of fans were from ‘General Hospital’, but then ‘State of Mind’ started getting its fans, which is interesting now,” he says. “A lot of people just talk to me about mental health, not ‘general hospital,’ which is amazing. I’m very proud of that.”

At the start of the pandemic, Benard released his memoir “Nothing General About It: How Love (And Lithium) Saved Me On And Off ‘General Hospital’.” In view of COVID-19.

“During the closure of my book and GH and the pandemic, I had this anxiety that was fatal,” he says. “Awful. I’m talking every day, don’t want to be on this earth. I went through this for four months while I was promoting my book.”

Still, he kept up with his mental health updates. “It was very difficult, but every Sunday, I would get in the car and do ‘state of mind,'” Benard says. “I only missed Sundays when, literally, I couldn’t get out of bed. Then, after four months of that crippling feeling, I got help. Professional help.”

Benard, who suffers from bipolar disorder, has been talking about mental health for years. His “General Hospital” character, Sonny, also struggles with bipolar disorder. “When I started playing Sonny as bipolar, people didn’t know what he was,” says Benard.

World Nation News Desk
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