Show of mental health support at Comic Con leaves actor gobsmacked

A moving display at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International in support of depression and aiding mental health left an actor speechless.

Comic-Con is a yearly event that was founded in 1970 and serves as a way for entertainment companies to reach their fans, to release new trailers, and hold panels in which guests can talk directly to people and the press.

One such guest this year was Jared Padalecki, who, in March, told Variety Magazine that he had been diagnosed with depression several years ago.

A successful and much loved actor, Padalecki doesn’t fit the stereotypical role of someone suffering with a mental health issue, that of a person who struggles to leave the house and is socially withdrawn. Of course, many people with an issue like depression or anxiety don’t fit into these stereotypes.

Becoming famous for starring in the hit TV series Supernatural with his on-screen brother Jensen Ackles, Padalecki has used his position and name to further charitable causes, including one, To Write Love On Her Arms, which supports people with depression, addiction, and self harm.

While sitting on a panel in front of a crowd, Padalecki was taken aback when the audience began lighting tea candles and holding them up in a unified show of support for his struggle and his efforts to promote mental health awareness.

Padalecki said: “I initially mistook all of the lights for cell phone cameras. It’s difficult to discern specific shapes and faces with all of those stage lights shining on you.

“Then, when I had a light given to me with an explanation of what it was and what it stood for, I was (and am still) gobsmacked. I will never forget this day. I will never forget the love that I felt, and still feel.”

About his depression, he has said: “I had dogs that I loved and tons of friends and I was getting adoration from fans and I was happy with my work, but I couldn’t figure out what it was,” he told the magazine.

“It’s not just people who can’t find a job, or can’t fit in in society that struggle with depression sometimes.”

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