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 Ariana Grande’s comments on Jim Carrey and depression, here are the 20+ 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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Ariana Grande is speaking out about her battle with depression. Just weeks after sharing an image of her brain and the effects of PTSD on her Instagram stories, Ari is once again using social media to speak out, and connect with other celebs who are equally as vocal. On April 20, 2019, the singer added a series of appreciation posts about Jim Carrey to her stories. Among them, Grande shared a quote from the actor on depression. “Depression is your body saying, ‘I don’t want to be this character anymore. I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me,'” the quote card says. “You should think of the word ‘depressed’ as ‘deep rest.’ Your body needs to be depressed. It needs deep rest from the character that you’ve been trying to play.” Under the quote, Grande wrote: “The whole LOML [love of my life] forever.”
In response, Carrey tweeted to the singer: “.@ArianaGrande I read your lovely mention of me and things I’ve said about depression. A brilliant teacher and friend, Jeff Foster was OG on the “Deep Rest” concept. I admire your openness. I wish you freedom and peace. I feel blessed to have such a gifted admirer. Happy Easter!” alongside a quote card from Jeff Foster.
It’s important to note that while we stan celebs with influence talking about mental health, we do find the idea that depression doesn’t need to be “analysed” or “medicated” (as referenced in Carey’s tweet) problematic.
The past few years have seen the Grande open up about her struggles with mental health and axiety. Speaking to Beats 1 about her song “Get Well Soon” during an August 2018 interview, Grande broke down in tears, explaining that the song was dedicated to the victims of the bombing at her concert in Manchester in 2017.“It’s just about being there for each other and helping each other through scary times and anxiety,” she said. “There’s some dark shit out there, man. I wanted to do something to make people feel good and less alone.”
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