After the successes of previous Always Keep Fighting campaigns, founder and organiser Jared Padalecki, best known as Sam Winchester in Supernatural, took to Facebook yesterday to chat with fans who have supported him and the raising of mental health awareness.
Via a live video using his phone and from his trailer on the Supernatural set, Padalecki first gave a birthday shout-out to his dog before, with his voice starting to shake, he said:
“A year ago today, I decided to help raise money and awareness for a cause near and dear to me. I had never really spoken about it publicly – a lot of my friends and family knew – but I kind of kept it to myself by and large, and I, with the help of some friends and some family, I came to y’all and asked y’all if you could help me always keep fighting and in return I said I would always do my best to help y’all keep fighting.
Y’all have accomplished your side of that with a platinum medal. I feel so loved, I feel so supported from everybody out there and it’s really special to me and I’m really grateful. So, first and foremost, thank you. A year ago today, we launched the very first Always Keep Fighting campaign.
It kind of knocked my socks off and I think it knocked a lot of people’s socks off, and a lot of us couldn’t believe just how awesome it went, and I still get messages from y’all on Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram daily, and I get fan mail from y’all daily, talking about the message and a lot of times, y’all will say to me ‘thank you for the Always Keep Fighting campaign’ and my feeling is to say ‘thank you’ for the Always Keep Fighting campaign. I’m only one person and I can do what I can do, but y’all spread the message and I know people found out about the show through the Always Keep Fighting campaign.
It’s just been really special and in the last year, I’ve learned a lot. I had my lowest low of my thirty three year and some odd month life in the last twelve months. But I also had my highest high, and so I’ve been through a lot and I just wanted to say thank you guys, and I think I’ve had a lot of time to kinda look inside myself – not literally – no, literally actually, I was able to see some x-rays and see inside myself!
Seriously, I’ve kinda done a lot of introspection, and I spent a lot of time with family and friends and professionals, kinda talking about everything, and one of the things I learned about fighting and making a promise to always keep fighting is sometimes, it doesn’t matter if you’re alone or around a million people, it doesn’t matter if you just lost your job or got your dream job, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship with your special somebody, or still looking for that person. No matter the situation, if you don’t love yourself, then it becomes really difficult to always keep fighting.
So, in honour of the one year anniversary of the very first ever Always Keep Fighting campaign, I wanted to do another campaign, reminding me of what I think I need to remember a lot of times and hopefully reminding y’all. So, allow me to stand up so you can see it. (rises) So guys, welcome to the one year anniversary of our Always Keep Fighting campaign. (lowers camera to show a black hoodie reading ‘Love Yourself First’ in bold letters and ‘Always Keep Fighting’ in smaller text to the side).
I’m realising that that might come out mirrored so I’m actually going to look in the mirror (stands in front of mirror holding his camera/video phone). Anyways as y’all can see, it’s a design that kinda helps me to remember that if you don’t love yourself then no amount of love coming at you can mean a whole lot.
I had y’all’s support for many years and I had to, with all y’all’s convincing and y’all’s love and support, love myself. I’m still learning, but I promise I will work hard to try and love myself first so that I can always keep fighting and learn to love everyone else and always keep fighting for everyone else. I love y’all very much, I’m grateful for y’all and the last twelve months of my life have been the best twelve months of my life, so for that, thank you. Love Yourself First. Always Keep Fighting.”
You can watch the video here.
The new campaign hoodie can be purchased from Jared’s represent page. The message on the page reads:
Loving yourself is vital in the fight against mental health problems, so I want to encourage y’all to focus on loving yourselves first… each and every one of you is worthy.
The hoodie is available in a range of sizes and in black, navy or grey with a portion of the proceeds also going to the PACK Fund and The SPNFamily Crisis Support Network as recently launched and supported by Padalecki’s co-stars Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins via their ‘You Are Not Alone’ campaign.