WATCH | 2016 showed us the impact Hollywood can have on mental health. Circa's Kay Angrum recaps four times Hollywood got mental health awareness right this year.
Hollywood and mental health
For many Americans, perceptions about mental illness stem from the entertainment industry and mass media. And for the nearly eight million Americans who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, Hollywood's at-times inaccurate and harmful portrayals of mental illness have led to a culture of stigmatization.
But in recent years, musicians and actors alike have spoken out about their personal struggles with mental health, making it easier for others to talk about it.
In December, Lady Gaga revealed she struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The "Million Reasons" singer opened up about her battle with PTSD in an open letter posted on her Born This Way Foundation website.
“It is a daily effort for me, even during this album cycle, to regulate my nervous system so that I don’t panic over circumstances that to many would seem like normal life situations,” she said. In 2014, Lady Gaga revealed she was raped at 19, which she cited as the reason for her daily struggle with PTSD.
Her openness has encouraged fans to speak up about their own struggles with mental health.
Gaga even got matching tattoos with rape survivors to show solidarity.
In November, Demi Lovato gave her fans an update on her mental health after going public in 2011 about receiving treatment for cutting and eating disorders.
"It’s not something where you see a therapist once or you see your psychiatrist once, it’s something you maintain," she told PEOPLE magazine. "You have to take care of yourself.”
Lovato will be celebrating her five-year anniversary of sobriety from addictions in March 2017. “I take it one day at a time and for today I’m doing great," she shared.
Earlier this year, Lovato teamed up with CAST Centers treatment center to hold a mental health "wellness workshop" with fans before every concert.
Fans can register for the chance to participate here.
Lovato helped start Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health to reframe stigmas and perceptions.
In October, rapper Kid Cudi told fans via Facebook that he was entering a rehabilitation center for depression and suicidal urges.
"I simply am a damaged human swimming in a pool of emotions every day of my life," he wrote. Kid Cudi said he has struggled with anxiety and depression for a very long time. "I deserve to have peace. I deserve to be happy and smiling," he added. His post sparked a hashtag on Twitter from black men to show support for each other and the "Pursuit of Happiness" rapper.
Here is the Facebook post from Scott Mescudi, better known as Kid Cudi.
"It's really hard to admit you need help," someone tweeted.
Others saw it as an opportunity to dispel stigmas about black men and mental health.
"I'm fighting epilepsy, depression, bipolar disorder daily."
'If you are broken, you should not have to stay broken'
Disney Channel alum Selena Gomez made a powerful acceptance speech at the 2016 American Music Awards after winning the 'Favorite Female Artist' category. If you missed it, here's the speech.
Gomez's speech that night immediately started a dialogue on Twitter about mental health.
Selena Gomez's speech at the AMA's proved that mental illness is a serious topic.— Joyce (@ohitscece) November 22, 2016
Mental health mavens Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez shared a beautiful moment backstage.