Bell Let's Talk Day: Rap Stars Open Up About Mental Health

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When Lil Wayne and Chance the Rapper opened up last year about their mental health struggles, it started a conversation in the hip hop community – where vulnerability is often seen as weakness.

“I look at it as being brave and stepping up,” Lil Wayne said, explaining that he was appearing on Emmanuel Acho’s Uncomfortable Conversations “figuring I can help, hoping I can help anyone else out there who’s dealing with mental health problems by … being vulnerable.”

The rap star reflected on the lasting impact of a suicide attempt at age 12. Wayne said his near-death experience changed his mother forever. “The mom that I knew before that day ... I have never met or seen or heard that lady again in my life,” he said. “So I didn't die that day, but somebody was gone. She's never been that way [again].

“Changed life for her, [me] and our whole family.”

Bell Let’s Talk Day has helped young people recognize that they don’t have to feel like there is no one to talk to about how they’re feeling.

Wayne said he didn’t have that support growing up. “You have no one to vent to, no one to get this out to,” he said. “You can’t bring it to your friends at school – you’re still trying to be cool to them. You’re not trying to let them know you’ve got something going on at home.”

In a conversation on Peace of Mind with Taraji last year, Chance the Rapper also said mental health wasn’t something his family talked about.

“Wellness wasn't something that we knew, you know? There's probably a ton of situations where people, you know, we just wrote them off as like crazy, or like they was tweakin' – but they were actually going through a chronic mental health disorder,” the rap star recalled.

“I feel like it’s something that we're all … we’re starting to be like, ‘OK, yeah, health is beyond just our physical.’”

Jan. 26, 2022 is Bell Let’s Talk Day. Click here for more information and to see ways you can help. (Bell Media is the parent company of this website.

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