Maurice Benard from General Hospital
Credit: Image: Craig Sjodin/ABC

General Hospital actor’s new project, State of Mind, for mental health awareness.

General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Port Charles’ Sonny Corinthos) has recently launched a new website, Maurice Benard State of Mind. On it the actor states, “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.” In an Instagram post he further added that it’s, “A communion I have with my audience. I speak of my life living with mental illness, we talk, we laugh, sometimes we cry. In the end, I always feel like I’ve gone through something.” The website features a collection of Benard’s Sunday sessions from Instagram where he addresses his fans and expresses his feelings. A store has yet to open on the website, and there is information on several upcoming appearances in December where you can meet Benard in the New York and New Jersey area.

More: Maurice Benard’s memoir Nothing General About It

For years two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner Benard worked out of the spotlight mentoring individuals in mental health crisis. However, a letter from a young man whose brother committed suicide while struggling with mental illness led the actor to begin publically addressing mental health awareness. In a 2009 appearance on Oprah, he shared his own bipolar diagnosis at the age of 22 and the ensuing struggle to manage the illness. He has also lent his face and voice to numerous organizations to further the cause, including International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America (MHA) and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. His work has earned him numerous awards, including IBF’s Imagine Award, NAMI’s Lionel Aldridge Award, and the Erasing the Stigma Award alongside Carrie Fischer and Rod Steiger. He also testified before Congress on mental health issues, and speaks at the annual conference for The National Manic Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association.