Let's Talk: Demi Lovato Advocates For Mental Health
Bell Let’s Talk Day, which this year falls on Jan. 31, is designed to end stigma and start a conversation about mental health.
It’s also a day to raise funds to support mental health initiatives across the country.
In recent years, a number of music stars have opened up about their personal battles with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.
Arguably none have been so candid as Demi Lovato. The “Sorry Not Sorry” star has not been afraid to share her experiences.
The 25-year-old singer was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011.
“The more you talk about mental illness, the less of a taboo it becomes,” Lovato told American Way. “As a pop star, I can say, ‘Hey, I’ve got bipolar disorder — it’s nothing that anyone can be ashamed of.’ ”
In an interview with People in 2016, she said: “If you know someone or if you’re dealing with it yourself, just know that it is possible to live well.
“I’m living proof of that.”
At a 2011 concert, Lovato reached out to her fans.
“If there’s anybody out there tonight that doesn’t feel beautiful enough or worthy enough, you’re wrong, because you guys are all so incredible,” she said. “If you’re dealing with any of the issues I’ve been through, don’t be afraid to speak up, because someone will be there for you.”
Lovato told People her treatment is ongoing.
“It’s not something where you see a therapist once or you see your psychiatrist once, it’s something you maintain to make sure that you want to live with mental illness,” she explained.
“You have to take care of yourself.”
Lovato has also been vocal about body shaming and her self-inflicted food shaming.
“Feeling gross today at a photo shoot but I’m choosing to accept what I see because I love myself for who I am and your love and support gets me through moments like this,” the pop star tweeted recently.
“If you’re struggling as well, don’t forget.. if I can do it, you can too!”
Lovato also shared that she is “no longer depriving myself of treats (in moderation) and I’m not gonna lie, I put on a couple lbs since I’ve given up dieting BUT I’ve given up the chronic stress of what I eat because I don’t want to set that example for my fans.
“No more food shaming myself!!”
The singer has previously opened up about suffering from eating disorders. She told Ellen DeGeneres she is learning to love herself and to ignore the haters.
“I just feel sorry for them, because who leaves a negative comment on somebody's profile on the internet?" she said. “You have to be kind of sad to do that.
“I've taken away the power, and it just feels great.”
Lovato said her confidence comes from a year spent working on herself.
“I've really surrendered to the process of just learning to love yourself, and I feel like it shows through my pictures,” she explained. “I want to show my fans that it's possible that they can get to that self-love too.”
Lovato embodies the idea of Let’s Talk. On her new concert tour, she is offering fans opportunities to talk about mental health with specialists.
“I think that it's important that I use my voice for more than just singing and I just know how important it is to use my platform to help others and to share my story in hopes it inspires people to either get into recovery or better themselves,” she told Good Morning America. “Whatever it is, I just want people to know they're not alone and I'm here for them.
“Mental health affects so many people and we need to take the stigma away from it.”
Bell Let’s Talk is an initiative of Bell Media, parent company of iHeartRadio in Canada.