Bell Let’s Talk day is tomorrow and to celebrate ending the stigma against mental health and encouraging those suffering to seek help, we’re looking at 12 celebrities who are using their platforms to do just that.
Show your support this Wednesday by participating in Bell Let’s Talk Day, an annual initiative to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness. You can take part in Bell Let’s Talk Day tomorrow by sending a text message, making a mobile or long distance call using Bell Media products, tweeting with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, or sharing Bell’s Lets Talk Facebook image. Each time you do any of these activities, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives.
GIRLS actress and writer Lena Dunham has been vocal about her struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, detailing her history with therapy and her efforts to stay healthy in her book Not That Kind Of Girl. Her GIRLS character Hanna also struggles with OCD, with Lena drawing from her personal experience. Dunham has continued her efforts past her book as anyone who follows the activist on social media knows.
Demi Lovato’s struggle with substance abuse played out in the press, but once the singer got sober, she used her platform to share her struggle with addiction, bipolar disorder and her eating disorder. Lovato is now the spokesperson the Be Vocal Mental Health Campaign and has even lobbied the US government to make mental health a larger priority with policy makers.
Actress Hayden Panetierre made headlines this fall when she sought treatment for Postpartum Depression. Now the new mom is going one step further and using her experience to help open up a dialogue on depression and specifically PPD, most recently talking about her experience on the Critics Choice Red Carpet.
The Pretty Little Liars first spoke about her eating disorder during her teens in 2014 with Seventeen magazine and later with Larry King. Bellisario was quick to point out that eating disorders are a mental illness and something that require professional help and not to be glamorized in the media.
Author John Green is best known for creating the YA bestsellers The Fault In Our Stars and Paper Towns and now the writer is using his platform to connect with youth on a more personal level. During a Reddit Q&A session last summer, Green opened up about his struggles with OCD and anxiety, saying that therapy, medication, and exercise have helped him cope. This wasn’t the first time Green had spoken directly to his fans about his mental health, urging fans in earlier Reddit discussions to remove the stigma from mental health and seek treatment whenever necessary.
Fans of the Supernatural star were stunned when Jared Padalecki began posting cryptic messages on his social media pages asking for help, citing extreme sadness over being separated from his family while filming his hit TV show. After receiving medical help, Padalecki confirmed a depression diagnosis and kept the dialogue open, becoming a spokesperson for those suffering from mental illnesses. Along with his Supernatural co-star Jensen Ackles, Padalecki has launched a number of charity t-shirts to raise money for organizations that support those with mental illness.
Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz is known for being a rock star, but in one of his coolest moves, the bassist began speaking publicly about his struggles with bipolar disorder. During a 2015 interview with Howard Stern, Wentz got candid with the radio host, admitting that he worries about passing the disease to his children. Wentz also spoke about dealing with the disease and how much his life improved after his late diagnosis finally came, giving Wentz the confirmation he needed to seek help.
After struggling with an eating disorder for years, actress Brittany Snow co-founded Love Is Louder, an organization that supports young people dealing with all types of mental illness. The organization has drawn support from many other celebrities and continues to work with youth all over the US.
The My Chemical Romance frontman has been able to channel his depression into his music, giving fans songs they can relate to. Way has also shared his experience with depression on his website, urging fans to seek help and not suffer in silence.
Up and coming singer Halsey may be best know for her recent collaboration with Justin Bieber, but she also made headlines last year for opening up about her experience with hereditary bipolar disorder in Elle Magazine. Growing up in a small town, Halsey talks about the negative stigma she experienced against mental disorders and hopes to decrease that for others.
5 Seconds of Summer band member Ashton Irwin first spoke about his battle with depression with the Sydney Hearld last summer, saying that the band planned on using their platform with youth to write songs that discuss struggles with mental illness. At a concert in Michigan a few weeks later, Irwin told his young fans that he had spent time with a therapist during the band’s break.
Lady Gaga supports her little monsters with the Born This Way campaign. Launching the organization with her mother, Born This Way was inspired by Gaga’s young fans who tragically committed suicide after suffering from depression and bullying.