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General Hospital's Maurice Benard Talks Being "the Poster Boy for Mental Health"

Maurice Benard

Maurice Benard (Sonny, General Hospital) is thrilled at the success of his New York Times bestselling memoir, Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital. He revealed his surprise and joy at the accomplishment to Soap Opera Digest and how it's made him "the poster boy for mental health."

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He heard the Times news on a call from his publisher's publicists, he revealed:

I couldn’t believe it. I got a call from them and they were going, ‘Call me, call me, call me!’ I thought I was going to get in trouble, because of the way I was feeling; I had a lot of anxiety at that time. And then they called and said, ‘You’re a New York Times best-seller!’

I wish I could [have that experience] again because I couldn’t feel happy, and they were so happy. I was just like, ‘Wow.’ After the call, I went outside and cried a little bit and had my own little moment. I don’t think in my whole career, I’ve had great news and not felt anything, but that’s what happens when you’ve got anxiety!

Benard appreciates that the discussion has been centered on mental health, sharing:

It’s funny because earlier in my career, it was always about my acting and Sonny and ALL MY CHILDREN [where he played Nico], and now, it’s mental health. I’m like the poster boy for mental health! But I love that, actually, because it’s bigger than me. The book isn’t just about mental health; I’ve got some great stories about GH and there’s also goats — there’s all kinds of stuff!

And I thought the book was also a great love story [between him and his wife, Paula]. People say, ‘Your wife is an angel,’ and some say, ‘I don’t know how she put up with you [laughs]!’ But what I hear most [from readers] is about the mental health, which is great. I got into talking about mental health to help people if I could, and now I can.