Mental health
(Photo: Photo/Canva Pro)
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. 

In the United States, the month of May is observed as Mental Health Awareness Month. The call to break the stigma began in 1949 when Mental Health America launched the campaign stating that mental health is "something everyone should care about."  

The non-profit organization said that one out of five people will experience mental illness during their lifetime. Meanwhile, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America said that almost 450 million people across the globe are inflicted with mental illness but only one-third of those diagnosed seek professional treatment. These are just some of the active organizations which are at the forefront in addressing the needs of those with mental issues and promoting overall mental health through education, services, and support.

The music industry is not one to be spared from the social sickness. In fact, musicians have been known to be suffering from mental illness and addictions at an alarming rate. A number have lost their lives through suicide or from substance or alcohol abuse over many years which emanated from mental health problems. Several have openly spoken about their personal struggles and experiences. Others who have overcome their problems bravely took one step further through involvement with mental health advocacies. Here are several of musical artists who are paying it forward:

Demi Lovato

At the age of 18, Lovato sought rehabilitation in a facility due to drug and alcohol abuse. Along with an eating disorder struggle, while under treatment, the singer was diagnosed with bipolar disorder which she was not aware of. She took on workloads which she thought she could handle but found herself to be more depressed with her success.        

The "I Love Me" singer decided to put her foot forward by having a dialogue with legislators on behalf of the "Be Vocal: Speak Up About Mental Health" initiative. In 2017, she participated in the 2017 documentary "Beyond Silence" as an executive producer. The docu zeroed in on mental illness experiences of three individuals.  

Recently, Lovato launched  #TheMentalHealthFund to support those struggling and impacted by the COVID-19 situation through GoFundMe platform.

Noah Cyrus

As young as 10 or 11 years old, Noah Cyrus knew she was struggling with anxiety or depression which she disclosed in an interview with James Corden in 2019.  Out of her desire to help young adults who are going through the same phase, she partnered with The Jed Foundation, a non-profit organization that protects emotional health and prevents teen suicides.  Her "LONELY" apparel line gives support to the cause.  She shared she wanted her anxieties to be used "for good and not evil."  

Lady Gaga

Born This Way Foundation
(Photo: Photo/ Official Website of Born This Way Foundation)
Lady Gaga, through her Born This Way Foundation supports National Council for Behavioral Health

In 2016, Lady Gaga bravely admitted to suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through an open letter posted on her Born This Way Foundation website. She wrote that there is much shame attached to mental illness, but spoke about hope and a chance for recovery.  

In June 2019, Lady Gagat, through her foundation and the National Council for Behavioral Healt, expanded the teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) program.  It is a peer-to-peer mental health initiative that targets students in Grades 10-12 to learn about mental illnesses.  20 high schools were added to the previous eight on the list who were given the program.