Ginger Zee has come out the other side—and is sharing her story to help others in her shoes.
The ABC meteorologist has spent years in front of the camera, but in an Instagram post on Friday, Sept. 11, Zee reflected on something only she could see in herself. Referencing a photo of her younger self smiling in the WEYI-TV newsroom, Zee recalled the painful events that had taken place in her life shortly before the picture was taken.
"This photo always breaks my heart," she wrote. "This was during my first real job on tv at WEYI. This wide, forced smile was not long after my second suicide attempt."
She noted, "Of course no one at work knew. I was a master at hiding my mental health issues. Especially from myself."
In honor of National Suicide Prevention Week, Zee candidly reflected on what might have changed the course of her actions. "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 shared. "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. Not everyone has that."
In a tweet to a fan, she explained some of that treatment. "I checked myself into inpatient at Colombia ten days before I started my job at ABC," she said. "Wrote a book about the experience, the healing even since the transparency of my book has been immense. A decade of truly managing my mental health and I am full of gratitude."
Now a mom of two, Zee encouraged anyone struggling or who knows someone who is to seek help. "If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, take it seriously. Act immediately," she urged in her Instagram message. "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. For parents and young folks — @childmindinstitute has some great info and support."