Ginger Zee got candid about her mental health and past suicide attempts in honor of Suicide Prevention Week.
“This photo always breaks my heart. This was during my first real job on tv at WEYI. This wide, forced smile was not long after my second suicide attempt,” she captioned the old photo of herself.
“Of course no one at work knew. I was a master at hiding my mental health issues. Especially from myself.”
ABC News’ chief meteorologist, 39, said she was “lucky” not only to receive help but also to afford it financially.
“It is #suicidepreventionweek and I often wonder if there is anything I could go back and say to myself the morning I tried to take my own life,” she continued. “I don’t know if I would have been ready to hear it – I don’t know if this message will help — but I feel it is my duty to talk about it — because I was lucky.
“Beyond the luck, I had the support and financial ability to get the help I needed to treat my mental health issues,” she wrote. “Not everyone has that.”
Zee urged people who are struggling with their mental health to seek help immediately.
“Don’t be afraid to go to the hospital to get urgent help and they can get you to the right type of therapy or medication you may need,” she wrote.
Zee attempted to take her own life at age 21 by overdosing on Benadryl and other pills. The near-fatal attempt ultimately led to her depression diagnosis.
In May, Zee said she felt the darkness creeping in as she dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.
“I wake up some mornings, still, and I see the darkness,” she wrote on Instagram for Mental Health Awareness Month. “I feel it’s slow creep, like blinds on the windows on a timer. Slowly closing, trying to take me on a spiral down. Telling me to isolate, drink, avoid.”
She has credited the support of her husband, PIX11 reporter Ben Aaron, her mother and her therapist for helping her find the light.