Supernatural star Jared Padalecki, who earlier this year revealed his fight with depression, was overwhelmed at Comic-Con 2015 when fans paid tribute to his battle with mental health.
Halfway through the Comic-Con event, people in the audience started raising lit candles or their phone screens during the question and answer portion of Padalecki’s panel. As they raised their “candles” they shouted, “Always keep fighting!”
Jared looked a bit bemused as he tried to work out what had happened, but then became noticeably overwhelmed when he realised it was in support of him.
Looking clearly moved, he said: “This is so touching and humbling. I don’t have the proper words to say thank you.”
Fans had been given the candles before the press conference along with a card, which said: “Show the people who inspire us, and the community we’ve built, what we can accomplish together.”
You can fast forward to 33.37 of the video above to see the tribute.
In a Facebook post later that evening, Padalecki said: “I initially mistook all of the lights for cell phone cameras. It’s difficult to discern specific shapes and faces with all of those stage lights shining on you.
“Then, when I had a light given to me with an explanation of what it was and what it stood for, I was (and am still) gobsmacked. I will never forget this day. I will never forget the love that I felt, and still feel.”
— Jared Padalecki (@jarpad) July 12, 2015
In March Padalecki told Variety that he struggles with depression, and said he began to feel better after taking a step back from his hectic work schedule.
“There’s no shame in having to fight every day, but fighting every day, and presumably, if you’re still alive to hear these words or read this interview, then you are winning your war. You’re here,” he said.
“I had dogs that I loved and tons of friends and I was getting adoration from fans and I was happy with my work, but I couldn’t figure out what it was,” he told the magazine.
“It’s not just people who can’t find a job, or can’t fit in in society that struggle with depression sometimes.”
Stay strong Jared and always keep fighting.
If there’s one thing many of us who suffer form depression realise it’s this: Depression doesn’t care who you are or how much money you have. The best that we can do is to make people on the other side understand what we are going through and to support each other.
More than 7,000 Supernatural fans lit candles or raised their phone screens for Jared which is a fantastic and empathetic response compared to the backlash and lack of understanding which was shown when Robin Williams and Lee Thomson Young committed suicide whilst battling with depression.
Jared Padalecki uses his charity campaign “Always Keep Fighting”, to support and raise funds for the charity To Write Love On Her Arms that helps people struggling with depression, addiction, self-harm and suicide.