This story discusses mental health. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
To find mental health resources near you, visit Project Healthy Minds or text HOME to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling. TODAY’s Carson Daly serves on the non-profit’s board of directors.
Carson Daly knows how easy it is to mask anxiety.
The TODAY host has been outspoken in recent years about his challenges with mental health, and he opened up just days ago about the panic attacks he experiences, even on live TV.
Now, as part of an upcoming series on TODAY All Day, Carson wants to hear from you: What message would you share with someone struggling with their mental health? And what's one photo that depicts your mental health journey? He and other anchors are sharing their photos, and we want to see yours.
For Carson, it's this photo on set of "The Voice" with his left hand in his pocket.
"Things aren’t always what they seem," Carson said about the photo. "You probably see a familiar face, on live TV, having a blast, hosting "The Voice" on NBC. What a gig, what a life!"
"Well, I see a person trying desperately to hold it together, not pass out and not run off the stage due to a gripping wave of fear and panic that has just engulfed his body and brain for no good reason."
"You see my left hand in my pant pocket evoking a casual vibe? I recall vividly gripping the flesh of my thigh inside that pocket as to hold on for dear life until the panic passes."
"We THINK we know what people are going through, but we have no idea. We must go beyond the surface, really listen to people & be there for them. Too many are suffering in silence. Even on your TV."
“When I was topping 340 pounds., I played into the stereotypical “jolly, fat guy.” But I was miserable inside knowing I wasn’t healthy and feeling trapped inside this fat suit. Eventually, through gastric bypass and therapy, I was able to get rid of that guy, but I know he still would love to try and make a comeback.”
"I love going out for ice cream, and Calvin and Ollie love it, too. But this picture is bittersweet for me. This was about 4 p.m. I usually pump at 4 p.m. for baby Rusty. I recently made the very difficult decision to pull back on pumping/nursing because it’s just been too difficult to do it all. “Can we go to the park?” Calvin asks. “No, sorry, I have to pump.” “Can you lay with me?” Oliver asks. “No, sorry, I have to pump.” So for the benefit of everyone, I’m pulling back and I’ll continue to wean the baby down to only formula. It was the hardest decision to make and I feel guilty about it, but it’s for the benefit of the whole family. I’m proud of myself for keeping up with it for this long, feeling like it helped him when he was born 6 weeks early and feeling like it helped him get through COVID as well as he did. In this picture, I’m happy to be able to take the other boys out for ice cream because of this decision, even though I’m battling with my emotions on the inside."
Now it's your turn. Please share what message you would give to someone struggling with their mental health and/or one photo that shows your mental health journey. Together, we can remove the shame associated with mental health challenges.