General Hospital's Maurice Benard Assures His Mental Health Storyline Doesn't Hit Too Close To Home

This article includes mentions of suicide and mental health issues.

"General Hospital" star Maurice Benard has shared a message for fans worried about his mental health. The actor, who plays Sonny Corinthos on the soap opera, has been tackling a tough storyline in which Sonny has been dealing with depression and anxiety. Sonny has been relying on his prescription medications to help him cope with his bipolar disorder (something Benard has been diagnosed with), though James Patrick Stuart's character Valentin Cassadine has been tampering with his medication. And it's had some pretty devastating effects.

But Benard assured his followers on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he's doing well and any harrowing scenes fans may see on TV are all down to good acting. "There's been a lot of talk about mental health lately people concerned for my health. I like it talk brings awareness," he wrote. "['General Hospital'] has always done an impressive job with bipolar stories it can't be perfect. It's TV not real life," he added, before urging his followers to keep on talking about issues related to mental health.

Benard also replied to a few fans on the social media site, including one who praised him for his portrayal of someone dealing with bipolar disorder. "This is definitely going to take you for a ride," Benard tweeted of the storyline. He also thanked another viewer who shared their own experience of a family member being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Maurice Benard has been open about his own mental health struggles

One of the reasons many "General Hospital" fans shared their concerns for Maurice Benard is because he's spoken out about his own experience with mental health issues and bipolar disorder. In November 2023, during a candid conversation with People, he revealed he considered taking his own life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Benard struggled being home and not shooting "General Hospital" or working on other projects, so he launched his own podcast, "State of Mind," to encourage open discussions with others about mental health. He also shared he received his bipolar disorder diagnosis at age 22, and has learned over the years how best to manage his mental health. "It's difficult ... but I don't think twice about it. I just do whatever we have to do to manage it," he said. "And when times are hard, then we dig deeper and figure out what we need to do."

Benard, who's a grandfather of three, also opened up to bphope that month about how he puts his own experience with bipolar disorder into playing Sonny, and even shared that it was his idea to have his character diagnosed. But fans will be happy to hear Benard has also learned how to separate his life from Sonny's. He shared that once filming on the soap opera wraps, he'll do things like listen to music or watch TV to feel like himself again and not take Sonny's issues home with him.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.