General Hospital star Maurice Benard, a long-time advocate for the issues and challenges of mental health, was named the 2020 recipient of Mental Health America’s Clifford W. Beers Award.
Congratulations, Maurice Benard
The award is considered MHA’s highest honor and is presented annually to an individual with the lived experience of mental illness who best reflects the example set by MHA founder Clifford W. Beers in their efforts to improve conditions for and attitudes toward people living with mental health conditions.
Benard was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when he was 22 and has been institutionalized twice. The actor has been very forthcoming about his mental illness, talking about his struggles with mental health for more than 30 years.
Now 57, Benard recently wrote about his bipolar disorder in his memoir, Nothing General About It: How Love (And Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital.
“Thank you, Such an honor to receive this award from such a classy organization,” Bernard posted on his Twitter account. “The goal has always been the same help people with mental health!”
Among Benard’s GH costars to congratulate him on Twitter were Nancy Grahn (Alexis), Lisa Locicero (Olivia), Wally Kurth (Ned), and Bradford Anderson (Damien Spinelli), who wrote “Congrats Mo!!! Well deserved.”
Over the decades, Benard has worked with multiple mental health organizations, including MHA. He also runs an Instagram Live series called State of Mind each Sunday to discuss mental health and his personal journey.
To bring more awareness to his fans, Benard has also worked with GH’s writers to incorporate his own diagnosis into the character of Sonny Corinthos.
Sonny is dealing with some other big issues currently, as he watches his father Mike continue to go downhill from Alzheimer’s and he’s not sure he has the strength to let him go. General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.
Thank you,Such an honor to receive this award from such a classy organization. The goal has Always been the same help people with mental health! @HarperCollins @WmMorrowBooks @TheWordGirl1 https://t.co/9uIl8xM4tW
— Maurice Benard (@MauriceBenard) June 24, 2020