According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 49%—yes, almost half—of people who have felt symptoms of depression and anxiety never seek medical help. In any given year, one in five people in Canada will experience a mental health problem and by age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
So why aren’t we talking about this more? The taboo around speaking openly about mental illness still exists, although campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk and Opening Minds (established by the Mental Heath Commissions of Canada) are working to eradicate it.
Celebs who get candid about their own mental health struggles also help chip away at the stigma. From Lady Gaga using her GRAMMYS platform for good to Chrissy Teigen’s personal essay on her postpartum depression, here are more than a dozen public figures who have shared their own deeply personal experiences in the name of raising awareness, eliminating stigma and helping us all feel a little less alone.
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While accepting the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards, Mother Monster took the opportunity to speak out on the importance of mental health. Gaga and co-star Bradley Cooper took home the award for “Shallow,” the breakout song from Oscar-nominated film A Star is Born.
Accepting the award, Gaga expressed gratitude for being part of a film that shed light on mental health. “I just want to say that I’m so proud to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues, they’re so important,” Gaga said in her speech. “A lot of artists deal with that, and we’ve gotta take care of each other. So if you see somebody that’s hurting don't look away. And if you’re hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody.”
This isn’t the first time Gaga has spoken out about mental health. Visiting New York City’s Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBT youth in 2016, Gaga revealed that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), saying, “I have a mental illness, and I struggle with that mental illness every day.”
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