General Hospital star Maurice Benard (Sonny) has published a special message to his fans on his YouTube channel, thanking them for supporting his current storyline and offering advice for those struggling with mental illness.
Like his character, Benard has also struggled with mental illness, as he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his 20s. Since then, Benard has become an advocate for mental health, spreading awareness by speaking about how the disease has affected him. “I want to thank everybody for their support during this Sonny off his meds/bi-polar storyline. It was pretty difficult but fun at the same time,” said the actor in the video. “Soaps do a really good job at bringing awareness to these kinds of causes because you can do it on a soap in real time.”
The actor has been featured in a recent storyline on General Hospital that has seen Sonny spiral into mania after going off his medication after the murder of his fiancee. His erratic behavior worried those closest to him, as they knew Sonny was headed towards a dark path. At his lowest point, Sonny contemplated taking his own life but was talked down after intervention from his children. Sonny would later have a public meltdown during his son’s wedding party. His ex-wife Carly would help get through to Sonny as she has during his previous episodes, convincing him he needs to take his pills to be around for his children.
Watch Maurice Benard’s special message to fans below: