Mental health has long been a sensitive issue. People are often hesitant to speak up about mental health issues they are dealing with because they feel it may cause them to be seen as weak or incapable.
When people are reluctant to speak out, they bottle up their feelings and internalize them. This often makes matters worse and can lead to dangerous behavior, addiction and even suicide.
Fortunately, many individuals are doing their part to break the stigmas of mental disorders so people can get the help they need. This includes several celebrities who have opened up about their own mental health issues in the hopes that they encourage others to do the same. They believe this will help those who need help addressing their mental health to help find the tools they need to lead a healthier, happy life.
This article will highlight some celebrities who have become passionate about advocating for mental health and their contributions to society.
Demi Lovato may be the celebrity best known for her efforts to support people dealing with mental illness. The singer and actor has been very vocal about her own struggles with emotional issues. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011.
She has since become the spokesperson for a campaign called Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health, an initiative that encourages people with mental health issues to reach out to get the help they need. She also started a Mental Health Fund that provides people with free counseling services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lovato says that getting her diagnosis was a relief as it provided her with a way to identify what she was feeling, and seek the guidance and treatment she needed to deal with her emotional issues.
Kristen Bell may seem like she has it all, but the 41-year-old actress has been dealing with anxiety and depression since college. In 2016, she wrote an op-ed for Time magazine titled, “I’m Over Staying Silent About Depression,” which helped launch her mental health advocacy efforts.
Bell has continued to make public statements stating the need to reduce stigmas and ensure that more help is readily available. She was quoted as saying, “Mental health check-ins should be as routine as going to the doctor or dentist.”
She says that as soon as she started opening up about her own struggles, they became easier to manage. She advises people to seek out emotional relief by talking about their problems, exercising regularly and taking a time out when pressure gets overwhelming.
Simone Biles is a seven-time Olympic medalist who recently announced her new role as mental health advocate. She became the center of attention overnight when she withdrew from the US gymnastic team to focus on her emotional issues. When she discovered the awareness her announcement raised, she then realized her potential to advocate for the cause.
Biles is currently performing in a touring show, a dream six years in the making that has finally become a reality. She aims to include a mental health aspect in the show because she knows a good portion of her audience have experienced struggles similar to the ones she has gone through. She wants to show that she is not hiding these matters or pushing them aside.
The athlete stresses the importance of a strong support group and knowing that it’s okay not to be okay. She encourages others to write down their goals and believe in themselves to increase the chances that their dreams will come to fruition.
Justin Bieber may seem like a fun-loving party boy, but he has had his share of demons. He has opened up about his mental health journey saying, “I’m struggling to get though the days. I think a lot of people are.”
More than being vocal, the singer has taken action in supporting the cause.
Bieber donated money to fan and college student Julie Coker. Coker has been diagnosed with depression and is president of her school’s chapter of Active Minds, an organization that raises mental health awareness among college students. Bieber gave Coker a $100,000 check that will help her launch her career as a social worker.
Celebrities have a powerful influence on society. It is hopeful that when they come forward about mental health issues, this will encourage others to do the same. This way everyone can get the care and support they need without fearing the stigmas previously associated with seeking help. This is a positive step forward when it comes to reducing the risk of dangerous behaviors associated with mental disorders and helping people lead a happier, healthier existence.