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Ryan Reynolds Models Mental Health Candor

In recognition of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, comedic actor and action hero Ryan Reynolds posted to his Instagram a short missive on his connection to the topic:

May is almost over … one of the reasons I’m posting this so late is I overschedule myself and let certain things slip. And one of the reasons why I overschedule myself is my lifelong pal, anxiety. I know I’m not alone and more importantly, to all those like me who overschedule, overthink, overwork, over-worry and over-everything, please know you’re not alone. We don’t talk enough about mental health and don’t do enough to destigmatize talking about it. But, as with this post, better late than never, I hope …

After an outpouring of support from Hollywood luminaries like Hugh Jackman, Kerry Washington and Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, Reynolds eventually explained his motivation for such newfound candor. His top three reasons? His daughters, ages 6, 4, and 1. Reynolds said,

Part of it is that I have three daughters at home and part of my job as a parent is to model behaviors. Model what it's like to be sad and model what it's like to be anxious, or angry. That there's space for all these things. ... The home that I grew in, that wasn't modeled for me really. And that's not to say that my parents were neglectful, but they come from a different generation.

Reynolds sees his candor as a way of giving back. It’s just his way of making a difference:

Part of that is to de-stigmatize things and create a conversation around [mental health]. I know that when I felt at the absolute bottom it's usually been because I felt like I was alone in something I was feeling … And when you talk about it, it kind of sets other people free.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Not even the rich and famous are exempt from the difficulties of life, so we need more role models to speak honestly and compassionately about how to deal with mental health challenges.

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