Selena Gomez, Prince Harry, Chrissy Teigen and More Celebs Who Have Advocated for Mental Health Awareness
By Rachel McRady
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE and Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images and Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE
May marks Mental Health Awareness Month around the world and so many celebrities are speaking out and using their platforms not just to share their own experiences but also to help others who might be suffering from the same conditions.
From stars like Taraji P. Henson, whose Facebook Watch series, Peace of Mind With Taraji, highlights the stigmas in the Black community surrounding mental health issues to comedian Pete Davidson, who spoke about his own mental health on Saturday Night Live to spread awareness, these celebrities are going the extra mile.
Here are a handful of today's top stars who have spoken out:
Taraji P. Henson
Mental health in the Black community was at the forefront of Taraji P. Henson's mind this past year. The 50-year-old Hidden Figures star kicked off her Facebook Watch series, Peace of Mind With Taraji, highlighting the struggles the Black community faces when it comes to mental health awareness and treatment as well as the stigmas surrounding those who attempt to get help. Back in December 2020, Henson spoke to ET's Kevin Frazier about why she feels this work is so important.
"[We hear], 'Boy, get over it. Man up! Tough it out, strong Black woman.' These things have been passed down, so to even talk about mental health, how do you do that when you've never talked about it? When it's been taboo?" she explained to ET. "I mean, think about what we go through as Black people. Police brutality, microaggressions, not being paid equally ... it's a lot. It's a lot to unpack, and we felt like we needed some kind of programming that you didn't have to pay for and makes you feel safe."
In its first season, Peace of Mind tackled a variety of mental health topics, including PTSD, mental breakdowns and the struggles of the Black trans community.
"I know first hand how scary and lonely it can feel to face anxiety and depression by yourself at a young age," she wrote on social media. "If I had learned about my mental health earlier on - been taught about my condition in school the way I was taught about other subjects - my journey could have looked very different."
Mental Health 101 connects people to the resources they need to educate themselves on mental health. Gomez has been open in the past about her struggles with anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. She has entered treatment facilities three times in the past to help manage her issues.
In addition to becoming a new dad in 2020, Joe Jonas also has prioritized his mental health. For the #SaySomething challenge, the 31-year-old singer shared with his followers on Instagram that he practices regular meditation, always tries to exercise every day, and reaches out to friends and family with positive encouragement.
"For us, it's always been an important topic as a couple but also as entertainers. For us, we've noticed just how much in the last year, year and a half, it's taken a toll on a lot of different people," he explained. "I feel like I've been able to find new ways to calm my mind and check in with myself and make sure that I'm taking care of myself in different ways."
As a role model in the Latinx community, J Balvin wants to use his experience to shed a light on mental health. The 36-year-old performer revealed in a candid conversation last November that he's suffered from depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts in the past. He was diagnosed with depression seven years ago after realizing he felt like he "didn't want to eat, didn't even want to live."
"What I tell kids is don't believe everything you see on Instagram. I want to be a real man and show [the real me]," he said. "There's a lot of people out there suffering like I am…but when you're going through a hard moment and have anxiety and depression, don't check Instagram."
If you're looking to crown the queen of keeping it real, Lizzo's currently holding the title. She's always candid with her fans when she's struggling with her mental health, often posting about it on social media. The body positive powerhouse also didn't hold back when negative thoughts infiltrated her self-image. Back in December, she admitted to having "really negative thoughts" about her body.
"For anyone who has these thoughts too I hope you have a better day tomorrow," she said on TikTok at the time.
Earlier this month, the "Good as Hell" singer also shared a tearful TikTok about struggling with feelings of loneliness and sadness. Shortly after, she shared how she picked herself back up after a difficult day.
"Took a bath, talked to my therapist, talked to my medium, breathed, focused on gratitude, tricked my dopamine levels by getting excited about something that's happening in the future, ate a cinnamon roll, hot chocolate, and now I'm in bed," she shared. "I do feel better."
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
They may have stepped down as working members of the royal family but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have continued their work with mental health advocacy. The couple was extraordinarily honest about their own mental health struggles during their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey back in March. At the time, the Duchess of Sussex revealed that she suffered from suicidal thoughts while pregnant with her son, Archie, and attempted to seek help. Meghan also wrote a touching essay about suffering a miscarriage last summer in an effort to help other women going through the same issues.
Harry has teamed up with Oprah for a new mental health-focused docuseries called The Me You Can't See on Apple TV+. The series will follow mental health experts and public figures who have worked to overcome their own mental health issues.
Though he's known for cracking jokes, Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson has also used his platform to speak out about mental health after revealing he struggles with depression, suicidal thoughts and borderline personality disorder.
Back in 2017, he spoke on SNL's Weekend Update, using the typically joke-heavy setting to shed light on a serious topic.
"If you think you're depressed, see a doctor and talk to them about medication," Davidson recommended. "Also be healthy, eating right and exercise can make a huge difference. And finally, if you're in the cast of a late-night comedy show, it might help if they do more of your sketches," he added jokingly.
After suffering a pregnancy loss in September 2020, Chrissy Teigen handled her grief the only way she knew how -- publicly. The 35-year-old model and cookbook author shared heartbreaking images from her hospital room of the only moments she shared with her son, Jack. She also penned an emotional essay about the loss.
But in the months since, Teigen has also been open with her fans about being in a "grief depression hole" and seeking the help of a therapist.
"I've been open about so much throughout my life, and so [infertility] didn't seem like a crazy thing to talk about. But the more I spoke about it, the more I realized how taboo it was," Teigen told Refinery 29 last month. "But quietly, I was getting DMs and letters — like handwritten letters — and emails. I realized that people didn't think they could talk about it on an open forum, but they were happy to do it privately. I realized people don't feel comfortable talking about this."
In addition to discussing her work with addiction, Demi Lovato is a tireless advocate for mental health awareness. For this month, the 28-year-old singer decided to focus her efforts on highlighting eating disorders and how they impact a person's mental health. Lovato has been very open about suffering from bulimia several times throughout her childhood and career. She teamed up with The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness to educate people on social media. And she also shared her own hand-painted mug that reads, "I am worth it," with the symbol for eating disorder recovery on it.
"I painted this at @colormemine years ago.. even though I was in the throes of my eating disorder, I still made this in hopes that I would truly believe it some day. I still struggle. Daily," she wrote. "There are periods of time where I forget about my food struggles and other times it’s all I think about. Still. But that is what ED recovery looks like for some people and I still have hope that someday I won’t think about it anymore. For now my mug reminds me that I am worth it, and today I believe it."