Sara Ramírez Opens Up About Calling the Suicide Hotline in 2020: 'I Was Particularly Vulnerable'

·3 min read
Sex and the City And Just Like That... Sara Ramirez Photograph by Craig Blankenhorn / HBO Max
Sex and the City And Just Like That... Sara Ramirez Photograph by Craig Blankenhorn / HBO Max

Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

TW: This story contains mentions of suicidal ideation and contemplation.

Ever an outspoken advocate, Sara Ramírez is getting vulnerable once again.

In an interview with Variety, the And Just Like That… star, 46, opened up about how their mental health took a turn for the worse early in the pandemic.

"I remember calling the National Suicide Hotline for the very first time," Ramírez said of a late night in May 2020. "I called some folks, but their phones were off, and I thought, 'Well, there's this hotline.…'"

The pandemic, as well as a series of violent, racist attacks against the Black community, triggered their "own personal trauma," leading them to contemplate suicide.

"This person really talked me off a ledge, and got me back into my body. I could acknowledge my feelings without becoming them, and it was really helpful. I was particularly vulnerable at that time, and I sought out support."

It had been a "really rough year," Ramírez said, with constant negativity in the news adding fuel to the fire of being trapped inside all day. "It just painted a picture of the world that I wasn't sure I wanted to be a part of," they said.

Ramírez was able to get "support," they said, "but it was a really rough year where, for the most part, I had to release all attachments to permanence in every direction."

Aside from the support from resources like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Ramírez also sought out avenues of action, like participating in Black Lives Matter protests during the summer of 2020. It was in an Instagram post following one of those protests that they — inadvertently — shared they identify as nonbinary.

The caption read: "In me is the capacity to be / Girlish boy / Boyish girl / Boyish boy / Girlish girl / All / Neither #nonbinary."

Ramírez previously told PEOPLE that coming out as non-binary helped them understand themself better. "It's been so freeing to finally know myself and to understand that I live in a more fluid space."

RELATED: And Just Like That... Season 2 Will Have 'More' Che Even Though Creator Says Fans Were 'Blinded [by] Terror'

GREY'S ANATOMY Season 11, Episode 7 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2014 SARA RAMIREZ
GREY'S ANATOMY Season 11, Episode 7 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2014 SARA RAMIREZ

Danny Feld/ABC

Ramírez last graced viewers' screens as Che Diaz in And Just Like That…, where the non-binary podcast host ends up being (spoiler alert!) Miranda Hobbes' love interest. The shocking turn of events for the original character was actually Cynthia Nixon's own idea. The reboot sees the lawyer divorce her long-time husband and move to Los Angeles to be with Che.

The Sex and the City series is not the first time Ramírez is breaking boundaries with their characters. As Dr. Callie Morgan on Grey's Anatomy, a bisexual doctor, they made history as the longest running LGBTQ character in TV history. Ramírez was a beloved character on the medical drama for 11 seasons, from 2006 to 2016, and called the experience "one of the greatest honors of my life."

"It taught me so much, portraying a character that a lot of folks had not seen on TV including myself," they told PEOPLE. "I will always have a soft tender place in my heart for that work family and that role. It was the role of a lifetime."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.