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 Selena Gomez talking about the importance of therapy in her life to Game of Thrones‘ Kit Harington being open about his stay in rehab, 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.
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, this time about depression. And she’s connecting 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 Insta story. One of them was 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, the idea that depression doesn’t need to be “analysed” or “medicated” (as referenced in Carey’s tweet) is problematic.
If you or someone you know is struggling, contact Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566, find a 24/7 Crisis Centre via the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention or reach out to a resource in your province:
British Columbia: Province-Wide Mental Health Support Line (24/7 hotline: 310-6789) | Alberta: Distress Centre Calgary (24/7 hotline: 403-266-4357) | Saskatchewan: Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Unit (24/7 hotline: 306-764-1011) | Manitoba: Manitoba Reason to Live (24/7 hotline: 1-877-435-7170) | Ontario: Connex Ontario (24/7 hotline: 1-866-531-2600) | Quebec: The Quebec Association for Suicide Prevention (24/7 hotline: 866-277-3553) | New Brunswick: Chimo Helpline (24/7 hotline: 450-4357) | Nova Scotia: Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team (24/7 hotline: 1-888-429-8167) | Prince Edward Island: Island Helpline (24/7 hotline: 1-800-218-2885) | Newfoundland: Mental Health Crisis Line (24/7 hotline: 1-888-737-4668) | Northwest Territories: NWT Help Line (24/7 hotline: 1-800-661-0844)
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