Lady Gaga has done much to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health challenges by being so outspoken about her own experience living with mental health challenges.
“I openly admit to having battled depression and anxiety, and I think a lot of people do,” the star said. “I think it’s better when we all say: ‘Cheers!’ And ‘fess up to it.”
Talking about her mental health challenges is just one rung on Lady Gaga’s ladder of healing. Her Born This Way Foundation, co-founded with her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, is wholly dedicated to empowering youth and inspiring bravery. Together, they strive to raise awareness of the importance of mental and emotional health, decrease stigma and provide young people with better access to quality resources that meet their unique needs.
Their mission of raising awareness and decreasing the stigma surrounding mental health can be seen through the partnership they’ve developed with National Council for Behavioral Health. Last year, Born This Way Foundation and the National Council partnered to spread Mental Health First Aid across the country in conjunction with Lady Gaga’s Joanne World Tour. Together, they trained 150,000 Americans, teaching them how to recognize and respond to people who are experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis.
Lady Gaga’s advocacy does not end there.
For May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation again partnered with National Council in creating the nationwide #BeKindBeTheDifference campaign.
“We all know someone facing a mental health challenge or crisis (or face one ourselves) but we also all have the potential to help someone in that situation,” Cynthia Germanotta told Bustle. “Mental Health First Aid provides the fundamental skills you need to help a friend, family member, peer, coworker or even stranger experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis.”
Last month, Cynthia Germanotta appeared on the mental health podcast, Hilarious World of Depression to further express the value of Mental Health First Aid alongside president and CEO of National Council, Linda Rosenberg. More recently, Lady Gaga stopped by a special SoulCycle class to show her support and gratitude to the cyclists who were recently trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid by her very own mother. Yes – Cynthia Germanotta also happens to be a Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor!
We at the National Council for Behavioral Health cannot thank Lady Gaga, Cynthia Germanotta and Born This Way Foundation enough for their support, and for being the huge champions of Mental Health First Aid that they are.