Credit: Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

The General Hospital actress discusses her battles with mental health issues. commends General Hospital’s Brytni Sarpy (Port Charles’ Valerie Spencer) for speaking out about her struggles with depression on World Mental Health Day, which was on October 10. Sarpy, who just returned to GH, wrote, “So. I recorded this earlier this year, and wasn’t sure if I would ever feel comfortable posting it, and honestly I still don’t. But I also feel that it is more important to let someone in this world know that in the moments when life has left you feeling depleted, helpless, and alone, that you aren’t. From someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I wanted to take a moment (or 3 mins) on #mentalhealthday and tell whoever needs to hear it-that you are loved, you are important, and you will get through whatever struggles you are facing. We all complain that Instagram and social media only displays our highlight reel, so here ya go, behind the scenes. I love you.”

In the videos she shared, a teary-eyed Sarpy explains a decade of pressure had been building in her, and the pressures of the world and life had gotten to her and she simply wanted to relax, which she hadn’t done in so long. She filmed the video to capture the opposite ends of the extreme, to show people aren’t always happy and excited. Fellow cast member Kirsten Storms also battles depression and has been open about it on social media.

World Mental Health Day was established to mark the need for global mental health education, awareness about mental health issues, and advocacy against the social stigma of mental health. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. It is estimated that up to 15 percent of adults will experience depression at some point in their lifetime. Between 4 and 8 percent of adolescents currently deal with depression, and up to 25 percent will experience depression by the time they reach the end of adolescence. Every October 10, thousands of supporters celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ lives worldwide. Each year the program highlights a particular focus. Young people and mental health in a changing world was the theme for 2018.

If you or someone you know are battling depression and need help, many toll-free numbers exist, including the National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).