Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is known for being one of the most influential male figures on the planet, and recently he’s been opening up a very crucial conversation surrounding mental health.
The Baywatch star opened up earlier this year about his mother’s attempted suicide while he was a child. In an emotionally charged post, Johnson posted a picture from the set of his HBO show Ballers, with a caption recounting the traumatic experience.
“She got outta the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic. Big rigs and cars swerving outta the way not to hit her. I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road.”
“What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t,” he wrote. “Do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain. Help ‘em thru it, get ‘em talkin’ about the struggle and remind ‘em that they’re not alone. We got lucky that day when I was 15 and that ain’t always the case.”
The candid post did wonders towards removing the stigma surrounding mental health discussion, providing an extremely relatable experience for his followers. That particular post garnered 1.5 million likes and over 10,000 comments and expressions of support.
"Got me thinkin’ though bout how many of us have been affected by suicide of our friends, family," Johnson wrote. "Struggle and pain is real. We’ve all been there on some level or another."
The legend that is The Rock took to Twitter earlier this week, opening up further and reflecting on the response he received to his original post.
“Got tons of responses to this. Thank you. We all go thru the sludge/shit and depression never discriminates,” Johnson tweeted along with a link to a story about his family's history with depression.
“Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up," he continued. "Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone.”
Johnson sparked another wave of conversation on the social media platform, with contributions ranging from outpourings of support through to users sharing their own journeys with mental health.
With a combined following of 115 million followers across Instagram and Twitter, The Rock is clearly using his power of influence for good, encouraging an important conversation and raising much needed awareness in a relatable manner.
If you or anyone else you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of self-harm, please seek professional mental health care or call Lifeline on 13 11 14, which will connect you confidentially to a counselor at a suicide crisis center 24/7. If you believe that you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 000 immediately.