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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Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock, may be a super successful Hollywood actor, but he knows what it feels like to not want to get out of bed. In an interview with The Express, the 45-year-old Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star opened up about his struggle with depression that began when he was a teen. “I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere,” he said. “I was crying constantly.”
A low point in Johnson’s life was when multiple injuries crushed his dream of being a pro football player, and he was let go from his league. Shortly after, his girlfriend at the time broke up with him. “That was my absolute worst time,” he told the outlet.
The actor also talked about witnessing his mother’s suicide attempt when he was 15, just months after his family was evicted from their apartment. “She got out of the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic,” he said. “I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road.”
The father of two said that his mom to this day has “no recollection” of the incident whatsoever, adding, that it’s “probably best she doesn’t.” The emotional interview comes only months after Johnson shared a photo on Instagram about his mother’s suicide attempt, writing: “We always gotta do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain. Help ’em thru it, get ’em talkin’ about the struggle and remind ’em that they’re not alone. We got lucky that day when I was 15 and that ain’t always the case.”
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