Maurice Benard continues to hit it out of the park as an advocate for mental health awareness. The General Hospital star has been a visible force for years by discussing what’s on his mind, and he’s now made the conversation open-ended with his website, State of Mind.
Benard, who portrays Sonny Corinthos on the ABC daytime drama, recently launched a new online venture, Maurice Benard State of Mind.
This is Benard’s mission statement; “State of Mind to me means being 100% present, feeling completely at peace inside of you, not letting your thoughts control your life and always looking for ways to be the best that you can be.”
Maurice Benard shared his bipolar diagnosis at the age of 22, in 2009 on Oprah. He discussed his struggle to manage the illness, including spending time in a mental institution as a young man.
His memoir about his incredible journey is titled, Nothing General About It: How Love and Lithium Saved Me On and Off General Hospital and it comes out April 7, 2020, from HarperCollins.
Benard requested that Sonny be diagnosed as bipolar to increase mental health awareness, and his character has been at the forefront of socially relevant issues such as AIDS and Alzheimer’s awareness.
Additionally, Maurice Benard has testified before Congress on mental health issues and lent his face and voice to mental health organizations including the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America (MHA), and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.
Benard has received numerous awards for his contributions to raising mental health awareness, including IBF’s Imagine Award, NAMI’s Lionel Aldridge Award, and the Erasing the Stigma Award alongside Carrie Fischer and Rod Steiger.
Maurice Benard debuted on General Hospital in 1993 and celebrated 25 years on GH in August 2018. Along the way, he has won two Emmy Awards, in 2003 and 2019.
General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC.