Recently, Prince Harry and Lady Gaga spoke out about mental health. Celebrities often take advantage of their status to bring about awareness and education.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Since 1949, several organizations strive to educate the public about this topic that people often find difficult to discuss. They do this through public service announcements, events, and screenings.
Many celebrities have established foundations to aid the cause, others are simply vocal advocates of bringing mental health awareness to the public.
Born This Way Foundation
Lady Gaga established an organization that supports the mental health of adolescent children. The star says she was plagued by depression and anxiety her entire life.
The concept of the Born This Way Foundation initially began as a support system that encouraged kids to like themselves no matter how different they felt. As time passed, the focus evolved to include inspiring youngsters to live their lives practicing kindness, bravery, and model these values for all to see.
The HelpGuide Organization
In 1999, Robert Segal and his wife, Jeanne founded HelpGuide after their daughter’s suicide. “Trusted guide to mental, emotional & social health.” is the organization’s promise to its visitors.
The site features the following:
- Self-help tools enable people to access tools to deal with mental, emotional and social health issues.
- HelpGuide collaborates with Harvard Health Publications expand their ability to provide a wide-scope of evidence-based articles.
- Thirty-one mental health topics are covered in 250 articles, interactive quizzes, and other resources.
The Royal Foundation
The Prince, his brother, and sister-in-law founded The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Their foundation is spearheading the film series #OkToSay released by the Heads Together charity. The short movies are designed to introduce a dialog about mental health.
Upon making the announcement of the joint program, the Royals explained they spent too much time not dealing with the feelings of loss and depression following the death of their mother, Princess Diana.
Celebrities Support Mental Health Foundations
Often, celebrities lend their names and stories of mental health issues. They participate in a large variety of methods. One such person with mega-star power is Jared Padalecki.
In 2015, he launched the Always Keep Fighting tee shirt campaign in support of To Write Love on Her Arms. The charity supports those who are dealing with depression, self-injury, addiction, and suicidal ideation.
Padalecki added another in 2016, I Am Enough shirt incorporates a rainbow heart containing a star. In addition to the mental health organizations, a portion of the proceeds was sent to OneOrlando and Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund.
The Action in Mental Health charity strives to improve the lives of those dealing with mental issues. Jackie Chan is one celebrity who dedicates some of his finances to this non-profit organization.
When Celebrities Speak Out Fans Listen
Those who have positions of celebrity have a unique forum for spreading any message they deem suitable. Sometimes, the communique is not helpful. Fortunately, many encourage their fans to consider options that include opening up and seeking help for issues such as depression, suicide ideation, being bullied, and more.
The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), has received support from numerous celebrities.
- Brandon Marshall
- Chris Noth
- Darryl McDaniels
- Demi Lovato
- Halle Berry
- Hugh Laurie
- Jodie Foster
- Joyce Cooling
- Mariel Hemingway
- Tanna Frederick
- Tom Waits
- Vincent Piazza
NAMI is an organization that is dedicated to wiping out mental illness. Its members and supporters focus on improving life for those who suffer from these challenges in life.
Many mental health clients benefit from the celebrities who have established foundations and those who donate their time and money.
By Cathy Milne
LOOK TO THE STARS: THE WORLD OF CELEBRITY GIVING
The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry: Heads Together release #OkToSay films to encourage conversation around mental health
HelpGuide: Trusted guide to mental, emotional & social health
BORN THIS WAY FOUNDATION: Empowering Youth * Inspiring Bravery
Represent: Jared Padalecki’s Tee Shirt Campaigns; “I Am Enough” & “Always Keep Fighting”
Good Therapy: 11 Organizations That Challenge Mental Health Stigma
E! News: Jared Padalecki Opens Up About His Struggle with Anxiety and Depression: “I’m Not Alone”
Just Jared: Lady Gaga Opens Up About the Born This Way Foundation
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First Inset Image Courtesy of Amalia Adina’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
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