Selena Gomez opens up about ‘very personal’ mental health struggles in WH speech

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119 shares, 180 points

Selena Gomez called for mental health to be “de-stigmatized” in a passionate speech at the White House on Wednesday.

The actress-turned-singer joined first lady Jill Biden at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. where she opened up about her “very personal” struggles related to her mental wellbeing.

During an appearance at the Mental Health Youth Action Forum hosted by MTV Entertainment, the 29-year-old opened up about her mental well-being following her bipolar disorder diagnosis in 2020.

“Just to throw in a little bit of my journey, I felt like once I found out what was going on mentally, I found that there was more freedom for me to be okay with what I had because I was learning about it,” she said.

“Bringing attention to mental health through media or just by talking about your journeys can help.”

“It sets the example that it’s a topic that can and should be discussed freely and without shame,” Gomez added.

The “Same Old Love” hitmaker — who was joined by Ambassador Susan Rice, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, as well as 30 youth mental health activists — said she is using her platform in a bid to “help others feel less alone.”

“Mental health is very personal for me, and I hope that by using my platform to share my own story and working with incredible people like all of you,” she said at the event, “I can help others feel less alone and find the help they need, which is honestly all I want.”

Selena Gomez and Dr. Jill Biden
Biden praised Gomez and the other participants for sharing their stories.
Getty Images for MTV Entertainment
Selena Gomez speaks during the event at the White House on May 18, 2022.
Selena Gomez speaks during the event at the White House on May 18, 2022.
Getty Images for MTV Entertainme

Gomez said she aims to provide mental health services to anyone who needs them.

“When it comes to talking about and de-stigmatizing mental health, I want to ensure that everyone, no matter their age, their race, religion, sexual orientation, have access to services that support their mental health,” she said.

Biden praised the participants for sharing their stories, saying it “takes courage to be honest about the struggles that you faced.”

Actress and mental health advocate Selena Gomez, right, hugs youth mental health leader Ayanna Kelly
Gomez hugs youth mental health leader Ayanna Kelly.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

“And it takes courage to understand that your voice can make a difference and to show your creativity and talents, you know, to all of the world,” the first lady added.

In addition to her bipolar disorder diagnosis, Gomez was also diagnosed with lupus in 2014 and subsequently underwent a kidney transplant and chemotherapy.

She revealed the mantra she told herself every day to help her through her painful ordeals, “‘You’re going to help people.’ [That is] really what kept me going.”

First lady Jill Biden arrives to the White House Conversation on Youth Mental Health, with from left, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, mental health advocate and actress Selena Gomez, Juan Acosta, the first lady, Jazmine Wildcat, and Ayanna Kelly,
The Mental Health Youth Action Forum was hosted by MTV Entertainment Wednesday.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

She said staying off social media has helped alleviate her anxiety.


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