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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When visiting Harlem’s Ali Forney Center, a shelter for homeless LGBTQ+ youth, in November 2016, Lady Gaga revealed her struggle with PTSD for the first time. “I told the kids today, ‘I suffer from PTSD.’ I’ve never told anyone that before. So here we are. But the kindness that’s shown to me by doctors as well as my family, and my friends, it’s really saved my life,” Gaga said in a Today Show interview. “I’ve been searching for ways to help myself. And I found that kindness is the best way.”
Gaga has since been very active about raising awareness for mental illness on her social platforms. She’s even hosted an Instagram Live where she invited her followers to meditate with her. “Meditation helps me to calm down […] I need my mantra to help keep me relaxed,” she revealed.
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