What Inspired Ryan Reynolds To Speak Out About His Mental Health?

Every May, non-profit organizations like Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness observe Mental Health Awareness Month, aiming to educate the general public on the importance of mental health and to work towards ending the stigma associated with it. This past year, stars like Selena Gomez, Taraji P. Henson, and Lizzo have all come forward and spoken candidly about their mental health struggles, via ET.

Gomez celebrated Mental Health Awareness Month by launching her own campaign through her Rare Beauty brand, called Mental Health 101. "I know first hand how scary and lonely it can feel to face anxiety and depression by yourself at a young age," she wrote on Instagram. "If I had learned about my mental health earlier on — been taught about my condition in school the way I was taught about other subjects — my journey could have looked very different."

And at the very end of the month, Ryan Reynolds opened up about his anxiety in an Instagram post. "One of the reasons I'm posting this so late is I overschedule myself and important things slip," he wrote. "And one of the reasons I overschedule myself is my lifelong pal, anxiety ... We don't talk enough about mental health and don't do enough to destigmatize it." Now, the star of "The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard" has revealed what gave him the courage to speak out.

Ryan Reynolds wants to be a role model for his daughters

Speaking with ET, Ryan Reynolds said he chose to open up about his struggles with anxiety so he could be a role model to his three daughters with Blake Lively — 6-year-old James, 4-year-old Inez, and 1-year-old Betty. "Part of it is that I have three daughters at home, and part of my job as a parent is to model behaviors and model what it's like to be sad and model what it's like to be anxious, or angry," he said. "Part of that is to de-stigmatize things and create a conversation around [mental health]."

Reynolds went on to stress the importance of sharing one's feelings. "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. So I think when people talk about it, I don't necessarily dwell on it or lament on it, but I think it's important to talk about it. And when you talk about it, it kind of sets other people free."

He went on to say, "Other people feel like, 'Oh, he's feeling that and so am I.' And even though we might be in two completely different fields or we might have two completely different lives, it connects us in a way. A lot of it is just wanting to model certain things for my own kids and model things for anyone who might need to hear it."