Lady Gaga writes emotional mental health essay
Lady Gaga has joined forces with the World Health Organization for a new op-ed in The Guardian to address the importance of mental health care in the wake of the reported 800,000 people who commit suicide each year.
The mental health crisis is underscored by the singer and A Star Is Born actress. Writing with the World Health Organization's director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom, she attempts to combat the stigmas surrounding the epidemic.
"Suicide is the most extreme and visible symptom of the larger mental health emergency we are so far failing to adequately address," reads the essay. "Stigma, fear and lack of understanding compound the suffering of those affected and prevent the bold action that is so desperately needed and so long overdue."
A dearth of adequate mental health services and the hurdles that keep people from seeking treatment are two things Lady Gaga hopes to help fix. In June, Gaga shared some of her own mental health struggle, appearing alongside her mother at the Children Mending Hearts' Empathy Rocks fundraiser, as reported by Billboard.
"I have struggled for a long time, both being public and not public about my mental health issues or my mental illness," Gaga said of her mental health issues at the time. "But I truly believe that secrets keep you sick."
Now, the entertainer and the WHO head speak frankly about the need to come forward and offer help to those who are suffering. They cite the statistic that one in four people will have a mental health issue at some point in their lives before delivering the following appeal:
"The time has come for us all, collectively, to tackle the causes and symptoms of mental illness, and provide care for those who suffer from it. You don’t have to be an international artist or the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) to make an impact."
The op-ed posits an answer is asking us to "respect and prioritize" mental wellness, to learn how to better support loved ones in the throes of depression, and to urge our leaders to push mental health to the fore.
"The two of us have taken different paths in life," they write. "But both of us have seen how political leadership, funding, innovation and individual acts of bravery and compassion can change the world. It is time to do the same for mental health."
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, there is help to be found. Please consider these online resources and talk to your regular doctor about your symptoms:
- MentalHealth.gov – Get Immediate Help
- ImAlive – Online Crisis Network
- International Association For Suicide Prevention – Resources
- The Anxiety And Depression Association Of America
- The National Alliance On Mental Illness
- American Psychiatric Association – Finding Help
- National Institute Of Mental Health
- American Psychological Association – Psychologist locator