Lady Gaga uses her fame to spread acceptance to those with mental illnesses and reminds her audience and fans to be compassionate towards others as well.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known by her stage name Lady Gaga, makes people happier through her singing, acting and bold fashion sense. Some may have also heard of her efforts to address mental health in the US.
Born This Way Foundation: Mental Health Advocacy
In 2012, Gaga became a mental health advocate as the co-founder of the Born This Way Foundation, with her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. For their work, they received the Global Changemakers Award at Children Mending Hearts’ Empathy Rocks fundraiser in June 2018.
And on June 12, 2019, they partnered with the National Council on Mental Health, to double down on peer-to-peer mental health services, providing trainings to students at 28 schools around the country.
My own trauma in my life has helped me to understand the trauma of others.
Gaga’s Personal Struggle
Back in 2016, Lady Gaga revealed that she had been enduring post-traumatic stress disorder after being raped at age 19. It had taken her several years to fully comprehend what had happened to her, and to recognize that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
In an effort to help others going through the same thing, she exposed her truth to homeless LGBT youth at the Ali Forney Center.
She felt compelled to share her story with the LGBT youth: “These children are not just homeless or in need; many of them are trauma survivors, they’ve been rejected in some type of way. My own trauma in my life has helped me to understand the trauma of others,” she told the Today Show.
Lady Gaga also penned an open letter which reveals her PTSD on the Born This Way Website. She describes how it feels to have a panic attack: “My body is in one place and my mind in another. It’s like the panic accelerator in my mind gets stuck and I am paralyzed with fear. When this happens, I can’t talk.”
Born This Way? Kindness This Way
Despite having such a difficult circumstance to confront, Gaga is filled with hope and determination. She emphasizes gratitude towards her family, her team, and her fans who have stuck by her side throughout her endeavors.
Additionally, she reiterates the importance of sharing empathy and compassion towards those you meet – anyone could be suffering.
“To me, almost every problem you can think of can be solved with kindness. At least it could be made better. Kindness has a soft undertone. Sometimes people think it is weak. It is tremendously powerful. It can change the way that we view each other, the way that we view our communities and the way that we work. Even the way that we feel about ourselves, by being kinder to ourselves. We need more kindness in the world.”
Supportiv is proud to stand with advocates like Lady Gaga in supporting teen mental health, having received a grant from Columbia’s Tamer Fund to provide free peer support services to teens anywhere in the US.
If you’re a teen, you get anonymous, free peer support, 24/7, at Supportiv. Connect to peers who understand your struggle, here.
For more information on the Born This Way Foundation, contact @BTWFundation.
Written by Leslie Rivera and Christina Beck