During Stop the Stigma: A Conversation About Mental Health -- a live town hall special that aired on CBS This Morning on Wednesday -- Germanotta appeared as a special guest to discuss the Born This Way Foundation she co-founded with her daughter. ET spoke with her just moments after filming wrapped, where the proud mom couldn't say enough amazing things about how Gaga is using her platform for good.
"She was always a very compassionate young girl," Germanotta recalls to ET, of where Gaga's passion for helping others began. "She was the kindergartner that if somebody was crying, she was consoling them. In the ninth grade, if there was a new student, she would ask them to sit with her."
"As she gained her voice in the industry, and she and I together started talking to her fans, we realized the enormity of this issue -- that many of the things that she had gone through, other young people had gone through," she continues, "and that is what drove her to develop the Born This Way Foundation. Her desire and her vision for a world where young people are better equipped to deal with their struggles than she was."
Gaga [real name: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta] has spoken openly about dealing with mental illness, including depression, anxiety and PTSD, in the past. Her mother revealed on the Stop the Stigma special that she actually remembers the exact moment when she saw "a turn" in her daughter's mental health.
"Stefani was very unique. And that wasn't always appreciated by her peers. And as a result, she went through a lot of difficult times. Humiliated, taunted, isolated. When you're a young woman, this really severely impacts you, and it was in middle school when I saw that turn happen," Germanotta shares. "She went from a very happy and aspirational young girl to somebody that started to question her self-worth, to have doubts about herself. That is when we actually saw the turn."
That's why creating the Born This Way Foundation with Gaga years later was so important. The organization is committed to supporting the wellness of young people, educating them on mental health and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world, all points Germanotta discussed on the one-hour CBS special.
"It was just so inspirational to see the focus on this, so I really applaud CBS for doing that," she tells ET of what it was like being a part of the live conversation. "And particularly for having an audience here to listen, an audience that cares and wants to do something about it."
"We all have mental health but we as individuals in society don't always treat it as we do physical health... it's just so important," she adds. "It really sets an example for people that are listening. I think the power of storytelling is so important. It helps when people realize they're not alone."