Recent years have seen headlines regarding COVID-19, politics, social protests, and global conflicts dominate the United States news cycle. While staying informed about what’s happening in the world around us is essential, it can be distressing for some. Many Americans reported finding the news stressful before COVID-19. For this reason, psychologists suggest taking breaks from news consumption, as some news stories can be so overwhelming they exacerbate viewers’ and readers’ mental health symptoms.
Among the heavy, chaotic news, people may also find feel-good stories and inspiring headlines regarding celebrities and their mental health. Many celebrities have become mental health advocates in recent years, speaking candidly about their experiences with mental health challenges or substance abuse. These high-profile mental health advocates leverage their status in the public eye. They discuss how they handle challenges in private while living in the limelight. With many of them discussing how therapy changed their lives, they often encourage individuals to seek treatment and support from professionals like the highly trained team of clinicians at Pure Health Center. Our licensed counselors give clients a safe, judgment-free space to share their unique stories. These compassionate therapists can help you achieve greater empowerment, better insight, and total healing no matter where you need it in your life.
Celebrities Using Their Platforms
Famous singers, movie stars, athletes, and other pop culture icons generally have some influence on their fans and the public. For this reason, people tend to listen to their messages when they speak about causes they find meaningful. The famous people listed below serve as mental health advocates. They make it a mission to grab the public’s attention, discuss their experiences with mental health challenges, and put a spotlight on getting appropriate help and treatment.
Singer Demi Lovato (who recently announced an official change to they/them pronouns) has been diagnosed with addiction, bipolar disorder, anorexia, and bulimia. Turning struggle into passion, Lovato is dedicated to tearing down stigma. Their Be Vocal: Speak Up For Mental Health campaign encourages people to speak about their mental illness to normalize it. Lovato admitted to self-medicating in the past when they had no way to describe how they felt or what they were going through. After seeking therapy, however, they were able to concentrate on gaining control, finding healthy ways to cope, and maintaining sobriety.
Halsey (she/they) is another singer who’s opened up about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and receiving in-patient mental health treatment. She also expressed disappointment that some internet users make light of mental health struggles. Taking their role as a mental health advocate seriously, Halsey called on fans and nonfans alike to show compassion for others’ mental wellbeing and refrain from ridiculing someone’s mental health battle and treating a manic episode like a spectacle. She reminded the public that you could disagree with someone’s opinions or actions without contributing to stigma. The singer continues dedicating their career to offering insight and education about bipolar disorder.
Singer Harry Styles (he/his) also serves as a mental health advocate. He’s opened up about experiencing anxiety while in One Direction and writer’s block that made him address underlying issues he was reluctant to admit and go to therapy. He uses his celebrity status to discuss the benefits of good sleep and meditation. For him, resting and recovering are as important as working. Having found a balance he says benefits his physical and mental health, he collaborates with mental health services that give people access to stress reduction techniques.
How Conversations Surrounding Celebrity Mental Health Have Changed
Self-disclosing a mental illness is a personal decision people should make when they’re fully ready. When famous mental health advocates responsibly self-disclose what they’ve learned from their mental health or substance use challenges, it provides a positive, effective way for the media to engage such topics. This wasn’t always the case, however. Decades ago in Hollywood, stars refrained from speaking up about mental health conditions because doing so could get them denied parts, blacklisted, and cost them their careers.
Now, however, high-profile mental health advocates’ contributions to conversations about mental health are welcomed and celebrated. Today, many celebrities have large social media followings. They can use fast-moving, ever-connected digital platforms to reach larger audiences more efficiently. The generally positive reception to such advocacy has driven some stars to do more than share their experiences. Like Demi Lovato and Harry Styles, they may contribute to mental health treatment platforms or even start foundations.
Why Mental Health Advocates Using Their Influence Matters
Celebrities may seem larger than life to some, but it’s crucial to be mindful that they can face the same problems as other members of society. When famous people make mental health headlines, it can be reassuring for some individuals. Representation matters—some people may feel comforted to know some of their favorite stars are open to therapy.
As famous mental health advocates continue talking openly about their challenges, people worldwide may feel more comfortable admitting struggles. Learning about role models with mental struggles who continue to triumph and garner personal and professional success can be empowering. Some people may feel encouraged to ask for help and heal. When you’re empowered and ready to seek professional guidance for mental health challenges and illnesses, turn to a judgment-free center where counselors can help you improve your quality of life. At Pure Health Center, counselors specialize in:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Teen Counseling
- Couples Counseling
Mental health specialists help clients cope with specific challenges, but they also guide them on their journey of experiencing growth and healing, becoming more self-aware, and living more mindfully. Call Pure Health Center at 312.324.4502 to work with compassionate professionals and get started with an appropriate treatment plan.