Tamara Braun from General Hospital
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

“Knowing that you are gone will be much worse.”

We want to start out by sharing a gentle trigger warning, as we’re about to get into weighty subjects like depression and suicide here. But they are so, so important to talk about. This morning, folks were hit with the news, first reported by TMZ, that Stephen “tWitch” Boss, famed dancer, actor and DJ on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show had taken his own life in an apparent suicide.

He was just 40 years old and left behind three kids and wife Allison Holker just days after their 9th wedding anniversary. It was heartbreaking news, enough to shake anyone. And that’s why it was such a lifeline that just hours before, Days of Our Lives’ Tamara Bran (Ava) took to Instagram to share a message that those who are going through what Boss was should all see.

In the post itself, Braun encouraged suicidal folks to call or text 988 for help, writing, “You are not alone even though you may feel like it. Please reach out.”

But she had so much more to say in the emotional message she shared in her video. She began by saying she just wanted to check in and introducing us to her fluffy bundle of love, Pearl, as the pup stayed by her side for the entire painful message.

“I know it’s been a rough couple years,” she acknowledged, and it’s especially true for her, after losing her best friend to cancer just this past summer.

“And,” Braun added, “I know this is a difficult time for a lot of people. I just wanted to say, I hear ya, I feel ya, I know ya. And if you’re having a really hard time, reach out. Reach out to people. I know that it can be very difficult when you’re in a heavy state. When you’re suffering with severe depression, I know it can be very hard to reach out.”

She knows that those suffering can feel like a burden to those around them, to their loved ones “usually to the people you love the most because they’ve been there for you when you’ve been having problems. But it’s so much better to reach out and be what you consider a burden now, than to do something drastic.”

Losing you, Braun continued, will be such a greater burden than reaching out would ever be.

“So I just encourage you all to reach out,” she concluded. “And I encourage everyone who may not suffer with depression but know somebody who does, to check in. Just check in. Alright, everybody, I’m sending you love.”

Check out the full video below. It’s worth reading and it’s worth listening to in full. And clearly it resonated with so many fans, as the post turned into a beautiful, if heartbreaking, therapy session as many shared their own stories and received caring words from the actress in return — and from their fellow fans.

As Braun shared, for anyone in crisis or feeling suicidal, you can always call or text 988. There are trained counselors available 24/7 and they will always have time to help, no matter how dark it may seem.

Depression and suicide are just some of the many difficult topics daytime has tackled over the years. Look back on other soap stories dealing with real world social issues in the photo gallery below.