Making space. ABC News personality Ginger Zee shared a powerful message with her Instagram followers in honor of National Suicide Prevention Week — and revealed a personal connection with the cause.
“This photo always breaks my heart. This was during my first real job on tv at WEYI,” the meteorologist, 39, captioned a throwback snapshot of herself behind a news desk on Friday, September 11. “This wide, forced smile was not long after my second suicide attempt. Of course no one at work knew. I was a master at hiding my mental health issues. Especially from myself.”
The Dancing With the Stars alum’s emotional post comes at the end of National Suicide Prevention Week, a national campaign to raise awareness for recognizing the warning signs of suicidal thoughts and improving mental health care.
“I often wonder if there is anything I could go back and say to myself the morning I tried to take my own life,” Zee continued. “I don’t know if I would have been ready to hear it — I don’t know if this message will help — but I feel it is my duty to talk about it — because I was lucky. Beyond the luck, I had the support and financial ability to get the help I needed to treat my mental health issues. Not everyone has that.”
After sharing her own story, the Good Morning America correspondent encouraged those reading her post to take their own mental health and concerns for others “seriously.”
“Act immediately,” she wrote. “Don’t be afraid to go to the hospital to get urgent help and they can get you to the right type of therapy or medication you may need. For parents and young folks — @childmindinstitute has some great info and support.”
Positive messages from fans and fellow news anchors flooded the comments of Zee’s heartfelt post, including Detroit journalist Alicia Smith, who thanked Zee for “saving lives” through her advocacy. Ohio reporter Morgan Parrish added, “So happy you’re here❤️❤️.”
Zee isn’t the only celebrity speaking out about suicide prevention and mental health awareness. On Thursday, September 10, Demi Lovato penned a lengthy Instagram message for her followers, encouraging them to keep going and sharing new song “It’s OK Not To Be OK.”
“Since a young age I’ve dealt with suicidal thoughts and depression,” she wrote. “I’m living proof that you never have to give into those thoughts. I’ve had many days where I’ve struggled but please let this song be an anthem to anyone who needs it right now. You can get through whatever it is you’re going through.. I’m here for you always, you are not alone and I love you 💞.”
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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