In celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week, celebrity mental health warriors continue to wage powerful battles in the war against stigma. Stigma and shame are understood to exacerbate much of mental health suffering, and worse, inhibit countless sufferers from getting the help they need. According to National Association for Mental Health (NAMI), less than half of Americans with mental illness get the help they need. This simply isn’t good enough.
While many barriers to treatment still exist, stigma is one that many are working to overcome and change. Thanks to the efforts of many celebrities who have disclosed their private struggles with mental health and worked to effect change through their activism and community efforts, the tide just might be turning. As people continue to come forward, the message that you are not alone, and tat there is help, is being heard, and stigma is dimming.
Source: Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash
With Mental Health Awareness week on the horizon, I want to recognize some of the celebrities who have come forward to disclose their life with mental illness and focused attention on this important topic. Their stories remind sufferers they are not alone, and offer inspiration and much-needed hope.
Today Show co-host Carson Daly on his generalized anxiety and panic attacks:
Olympian Michael Phelps on depression and overcoming suicidal thoughts:
Actress Kristin Bell on anxiety and depression:
Symptoms of mental illness can be hard enough without adding inhibiting stigma to the mix. Bravo to these courageous public figures making a real difference for those in the shadows feeling alone and hopeless. For the 40 million Americans who live with mental illness—nearly one in four Americans—these public figures are paving the way to it feeling a bit more OK, maybe even normal.
It isn’t easy to talk about tough subjects like mental illness, but acknowledging your feelings to someone you trust, or finding a professional to talk to might be the most important thing you can do. It’s OK to feel off sometimes. You are not alone, and there is help.
- To find a professional who can help you, visit the Psychology Today therapists directory.
- For immediate help, call the NAMI HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
- If you are in crisis, text 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.
- If you are having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- For international help, start with this list.
This roundup originally appeared on my blog.