10 Women Who Advocate For Mental Health


Olivia Lucero

Broken hearts clearly affect your mental health, but it’s something not many people talk about because they feel ashamed or guilty, or simply don’t know how to talk about it. No matter what you’re going through, whether you have a mental illness or not, mental health is of the utmost importance. We’re super grateful for these amazing actresses, duchesses, and executives who are trying to make mental health a priority rather than a stigma.

1. Jennifer Lawrence, Founder of Jennifer Lawrence Foundation

“I don’t think that we’re going to stop until we get rid of the stigma for mental illness, I know David [O. Russell] won’t. And I hope that this helps. It’s just so bizarre how in this world if you have asthma, you take asthma medicine. If you have diabetes, you take diabetes medicine. But as soon as you have to take medication for your mind, there’s such a stigma behind it.”

2. Lady Gaga, Founder of Born This Way Foundation

“[Speaking out] made me very nervous at first…For me, waking up every day and feeling sad and going on stage is very hard to describe. There’s a lot of shame attached to mental illness. You feel like something is wrong with you…You can’t help it if in the morning when you wake up you are so tired, you are so sad that you can barely think… I feel like we are not hiding anymore, we’re starting to talk, and that’s what everyone needs to do, really…Even though it was hard, it was the best thing that could come out of my mental illness was to share it… If you are feeling not well in your mind, you’re not alone, and people you think will never have a problem, do… We have to make the strongest, most relentless attempt we can to normalize mental health issues.”

3. Kate Middleton, Founder of Heads Together mental health awareness campaign

“No one of us can make a difference alone. I feel so passionately about working together… Thank you to all of you who are prioritizing the importance of mental health and…child development as a whole. I look forward to hearing how your discussions will lead to proactive steps and to an ever more resounding commitment to mentally healthy schools, teachers, and children.”

4. Demi Lovato, Spokesperson of Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health

“The more that you’re vocal for yourself and also others, the more that people can help you. That’s why it’s so important that you speak up. I suffered from bits of mania and bipolar depression. I was lonely, I was sad, I was miserable and I couldn’t figure out why because I was on top of the world it felt like…What I would love to see is comprehensive mental health reform in our government. It’s really important that mental health treatment is more accessible than it is.”

5. Emma Stone, Board member of The Child Mind Institute

“It’s so normal. Everyone experiences a version of anxiety or worry in their lives and maybe we go through it in a different or more intense way for longer periods of time but it’s not- there’s nothing wrong with you. To be a sensitive person that cares a lot, that takes things in in a deep way is actually part of what makes you amazing and is one of the greatest gifts of life… Even when there are really hard times, there are so many tools you can use to help yourself in those times and it does get better and easier as life goes on and you get to know yourself better, your triggers…Don’t ever feel like you’re a weirdo for it because we’re all weirdos.”

6. Cara Delevingne, Model and author with depression and ADHD

“For me [the turning point] was realizing that I shouldn’t be ashamed of feeling these things and that I wasn’t alone, and that everyone kind of goes through these things, and being vulnerable is actually a strength, it’s not a weakness, and showing your emotion and being honest about it. More and more mental health is such an important thing to talk about. It’s exactly the same as being physically sick. When you keep all those things inside, when you bottle it up, it makes you ill… I didn’t know how to communicate my emotions, I was so ashamed of the way I felt because I had such a privileged upbringing.”

7. Marsha Linehan, Founder of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

“The bottom line is that if you are in hell, the only way out is to go through a period of sustained misery. Misery is, of course, much better than hell, but it is painful nonetheless. By refusing to accept the misery that it takes to climb out of hell, you end up falling back into hell repeatedly, only to have to start over and over again.”

8. Carrie Fisher, Actress famous for demystifying addiction and mental illness

“I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on.”

9. Jen Gotch, Founder of Ban.do, host of “Jen Gotch is OK…Sometimes” podcast

“I created a brand that’s based on an emotional workplace because we’re all emotional, so there are certain things about Ban.do that really don’t translate into a lot of other businesses. So the hope is that if you start a dialogue, in 10 years, you can easily take a ‘Mental Health Day’ and it won’t impact your job.”

10. Nancy Lublin, CEO and founder of Crisis Text Line

“I don’t think of myself as a mental health activist. I think of myself as a national health activist.”

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