Two of Hollywood’s outspoken and passionate advocates about mental health are coming together to talk about their experiences and how they work to remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
PEOPLE has the exclusive premiere of a candid conversation between Good Morning America’s meteorologist Ginger Zee and Broadway’s Frozen star Patti Murin — staged in support of Philosophy’s hope & grace initiative, which donates a portion of all of the beauty brand’s proceeds go to women’s mental health organizations.
Back in December, Zee, 37, opened up about her battle with depression in her book Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I Am One — revealing that she checked herself into a mental health institution just 10 days before starting her job at ABC News.
Murin, 37, has also long been transparent about her depression and anxiety, making headlines back in April when she revealed she had to call out of a Frozen performance due to a “massive anxiety attack.”
Both stars have been able to connect with millions of fans who are tackling similar mental health hurdles.
“Social media, it’s the best way to get the word out,” Murin says. “I feel like some sort of barrier was broken. I don’t know exactly when or how, but all of the big stars that people see on their favorite TV shows or movies are coming out and talking about it — like Kristen Bell and Mark Ruffalo. Look at what these people are doing, but also know that they feel like you.”
“That’s the point! It’s that it doesn’t discriminate,” adds Zee. “It’s not just for us that are on a more public scene. It’s the high schooler or the middle schooler … That’s part of our job as humans: to sit down and to have a conversation and learn about somebody’s story. That’s going to make everybody’s mental health better.”
Zee says one of her struggles is feeling like she is “multiple people at one time.”
“That is a big hallmark of many people’s mental health challenges. For me, there was Ginger Zee, who was on television, and there was Ginger Zuidgeest, which is my really long Dutch name. And those people were very different people. It almost makes it easier because you’re able to for longer, hide from it.”
“I have the opportunity to step into somebody else’s shoes and I think that hindered some of my progress in my early acting years, before I went on medication and did research and realized this was a bigger thing I could not do on my own and handle myself,” Murin admits.
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And while both Zee and Murin have made major strides in their mental health, each admits to still be learning every day — and even from each other.
“The number of people that sent me your story because they wanted me to not feel alone was actually really special,” Zee tells Murin.
“It’s really nice to sit down and talk to somebody that, whatever you say, it’s going to be understood or at least not judged,” says Murin of Zee.
Learn more about philosophy’s hope and grace initiative here.