Fans Honor Actor's Openness About Depression With Comic Con Surprise

“Supernatural” star Jared Padalecki got a sweet surprise at the show’s Comic Con panel this past Sunday, when a sea of fans payed tribute to the actor’s mental health campaign.

When panel moderators opened up the floor to audience questions, the actor was “overwhelmed” when more than 7,000 fans unexpectedly lit candles in the audience, U.S Weekly reported. The gesture was to show their support for Padalecki’s “Always Keep Fighting” campaign, an effort to support those living with mental illness, depression, addiction or suicidal thoughts.

Padalecki, who also stared in “Gilmore Girls,” opened up about experiencing depression in a Variety interview this year, where he discussed the moment he was diagnosed with clinical depression.

Padalecki posted pictures of fans wearing “Always Keep Fighting” shirts on his Facebook page.

It kind of hit me like a sack of bricks,” the actor told Variety. “I mean, I was 25 years old. I had my own TV show. 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; it doesn’t always make sense.”

The Always Keep Fighting campaign sold more than 27,500 shirts bearing its slogan, according to U.S. Weekly. All proceeds went to To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit dedicated to inspiring hope for people experiencing addiction, depression, self-injury and thoughts of suicide.

“Supernatural” fans have a history of embracing mental health issues. Carry On, a support group specifically for “Supernatural” fans, was created to help fans stand against their “own personal demons.” The group has more than 11,500 Twitter followers.

“This is so touching and humbling and honoring,” Padalecki told his fans, addressing the collection candles, according to U.S. Weekly. “I don’t have the proper words to say thank you or how humbled and honored and excited I am and keep it up, guys. Thank y’all so much.”

Padalecki and fellow “Supernatural” star Jensen Ackles wearing “Always Keep Fighting” shirts.

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