Bindi Irwin made a surprising announcement this morning: She's taking a break from social media to focus on her mental health.
The Crikey! It's the Irwins star and conservationist shared the news alongside a photo of herself cuddling her young daughter, Grace, who was born in March. The 22-year-old kicked off the post by thanking fans for their support. "I'm taking a break from social media and most of my work in the public eye for a month to be with my beautiful daughter and my wonderful family," she wrote in the caption. "I feel tremendously grateful to share our life and conservation work with you but I need some time to focus on the happiness that is my family (both human and animal)."
Irwin, the daughter of famous conservationist Steve Irwin, then said that fans can "keep up with our adventures" by following her family and the Australia Zoo on social media. Irwin didn't specify why she was taking a break from social media (other than to spend time with her family), but she spoke about the importance of mental health.
"Recently, I've had many people reaching out to share their own stories of working hard to protect their mental health," she said. "Thank you for sharing and speaking your truth. To my friends who are dealing with depression, anxiety and other battles every day – I see you. These issues are very real and deserve to be discussed and addressed."
Irwin then encouraged her followers to "surround yourself with the light of people who genuinely care about you and will support you during the good times and the hard times."
She ended on this note: "Remember there are helplines available. Mental health deserves more understanding and support instead of being dismissed or patronised [sic]. You are absolutely worthy of love and kindness." The comments of her post are turned off.
The news comes just a day after Irwin publicly acknowledged that there is a rift between herself and her paternal grandfather, Bob, the founder of the Australia Zoo. After posting about her father, father-in-law, and husband in a Father's Day Facebook post, Irwin responded to a question about why Bob wasn't mentioned in the post.
"I really wish that my entire family could spend time with Grace. Unfortunately my grandfather Bob has shown no interest in spending time with me or my family," Irwin said in a now-deleted comment, per the West Australian. "It breaks my heart."
Irwin said that her family financially supports her grandfather, but he has not met Grace. "I want Bob's happiness in life," she said. "I have struggled with this relationship my entire life and it brings me enormous pain. I have to choose to care for my own mental health now."
Irwin also shared a message on Instagram Sunday-a quote from speaker Steve Maraboli that reads: "I don't think people realize how much strength it takes to pull yourself out of a dark place mentally. So if you've done that today, or any day, I'm proud of you."
Irwin's husband Chandler Powell re-posted Irwin's photo with Grace on Instagram, writing in the caption, "You inspire me with your unwavering kindness and your ability to stand up for what is right. You are the strongest and most beautiful person inside and out. Grace has an amazing mama to look up to."
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