Saluting Celebrity Battle Against Mental Health Stigma

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#SoLongStigma #MindfulAllies #oktosay

Mental health stigma has been a longstanding battle for those who wrestle with the stigma of mental illness. Stigma and shame unfortunately continue to 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 there are many barriers to treatment that unfortunately still exist, stigma is one many are working to overcome and change. Thanks to the efforts of many noted celebrities who have disclosed their private struggles with mental health, and worked to affect change through their activism and myriad community efforts to combat the problem, the tide on stigma just might be turning. As people continue to come forward, the powerful message you are not alone, and there is help is being heard, and mental health stigma is dimming.

As Mental Health Awareness Month draws soon to a close, I want to recognize some of the stand out celebrities who have boldly come forward in disclosing their life with mental illness and focused attention on this important topic. Their courageous stories have reminded sufferers they are not alone, and offered inspiration and much needed hope.

If you are struggling with mental health watch these inspiring interviews, know you are not alone, and use the resources below if you need help right now.

To these, and the many other voices who come forward every day in combatting mental health stigma, I salute your leadership and express my gratitude:

  • Actress and activist, Alyssa Milano, on her generalized anxiety disorder following the birth of her child.

  • Cleveland Cavaliers forward, Kevin Love, on his panic attacks.




  • Today Show host, Carson Daily, on about his generalized anxiety and panic attacks


  • Singer and activist, Lady Gaga, on rape related PTSD, and her nonprofit, Born This Way dedicated to empowering youth and inspiring bravery.

  • Olympian Michael Phelps, on Depression and overcoming suicidal thoughts.

  • Singer Mariah Carey on her struggle with bipolar disorder.


  • Actress and activist, Glenn Close on depression, bipolar disorder, and the foundation she began  Bring Change to Mind aimed at reducing mental health stigma.

  • Harry Potter author, JK Rowling, on depression and suicidality.


Symptoms of mental illness can be hard enough without adding inhibiting stigma to the list. Bravo to these courageous public figures who are making a real difference to those in the shadows feeling alone and hopeless. For the 40 million Americans who live with mental illness, nearly one in four Americans, these celebrities are paving the way to it feeling a bit more ok, 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.


If you are experiencing mental illness and want to seek help now, here are some places to start. To discuss a mental health issue, including symptoms and treatment, call the NAMI HelpLine at 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), and for international help, start with this list



Alicia H. Clark, PsyD