Many Summer Olympic spectators were shocked with American gymnast Simone Biles — widely favored to be the winner in most of the events she was scheduled to participate in — withdrew from both the team and individual all-around competitions earlier this week, citing a need to focus on her mental health and psychological state. Public reaction has been mixed, torn between whether Biles was letting her team down by pulling out or if she deserved kudos for making a choice that was in her personal best interest. But one person who has fully supported Biles’ decision is GENERAL HOSPITAL’s own mental-health advocate, Maurice Benard (Sonny).
Taking to Twitter, the GH star came to the young gymnast’s defense, sharing his thoughts on the hot topic. “As I watch Simone Biles in the Olympics, I’m sure some people are gonna say she seems fine,” he tweeted. “You can’t see what’s going on in someone’s mind. You can still clap, you can still cheer, [but] only she knows what the truth is.”
When it comes to focusing on one’s mental health, Benard knows a little something about that. The actor is a staunch advocate for mental health, having long been open about his own struggles with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. He works tirelessly to destigmatize mental health issues through his weekly State of Mind YouTube series and detailed his own struggles in his 2020 memoir, Nothing General About It: How Love (And Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital.
Perhaps, one day, we’ll even see Biles sit down with Benard for an episode of State of Mind. One poster suggested exactly that, replying to the Emmy winner to thank him for all that he does to raise awareness of mental health issues, and saying, “Maybe you and Simone Biles could have a talk one day.” Benard’s reply? “I wish.”