Taraji P. Henson Says She "Kept Imagining" Suicide Last Year Before Getting Help

By Allison Crist Jan 29, 2021 7:28 PMTags

Shining a light on mental health.

Last month, Taraji P. Henson revealed that at the height of the pandemic, she considered taking her own life. Now, in conversation with E! News' Justin Sylvester, the Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated actress is opening up about the dark period in her life, as well as her ongoing mental health struggles, in the hopes that others will know they aren't alone and try to seek help. 

"I went to sleep and kept imagining that gun," Taraji recalled on Friday, Jan. 29's Daily Pop. "I knew that I had to get it out of my head. I knew that I had to say it, because if I didn't say it, if I keep it to myself, then you think about it so much it, then it becomes a plan."

Thankfully, the 50-year-old did confess what she had been contemplating, and ultimately leaned on her best friend since seventh grade, Tracie Jade, for support. 

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Tracie shared advice about being there for friends who are struggling, telling Justin, "She starts talking about something, I say, 'Mmhmm, did you call your therapist today?'"

According to Taraji, Tracie also encourages her to "change" her "vocabulary."


"My word is 'annoyed,'" Taraji continued. "And she's like, 'Change that to something else.' And she forces me to do it and I'm like, 'No, but I'm annoyed.' And she's like, 'No, find another word.' She holds me accountable."

In addition to being there for one another, Taraji and Tracie both aim to help anyone facing similar issues, such as depression or anxiety, with their Facebook Watch show, Peace of Mind with Taraji.

So far, they feel like they've made a difference. "I get a lot of DMs about people saying, 'Oh, my God, thank you so much for your show. My daughter was going through something and I had no idea,'" Taraji said on Daily Pop.

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And they're still learning, too.

"I'm not a professional," Taraji added. "I don't know. I'm suffering, she's suffering. It's not like we're on there like, 'Who are we going to save today?' I'm trying to save myself."

Peace of Mind is just the latest in a series of Taraji's mental health advocacy efforts. In 2019, she testified before Congress about rising suicide rates among Black youth. One year prior, she founded the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which aims to destigmatize mental illness. 

Watch: Taraji P. Henson Assures Mental Illness Is "Nothing To Be Ashamed Of"

Watch the complete interview with Taraji and Tracie in the above Daily Pop clip.

New episodes of Peace of Mind drop every Monday and Wednesday at 12 p.m. ET on Facebook Watch.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.