Discussions regarding mental health have heavily populated the news as of late, especially among young people. Celebrities prove no exception. In the last decade, more attention has been cast on mental health issues, partly due to the growing prevalence of social media and its tendency to promote negative messages. However, mental health’s presence as a hot topic means increased dialogue surrounding these issues, especially those of famous people with large platforms. Just last year, Simone Biles made worldwide headlines for speaking out on the vitality of taking care of herself during the Tokyo Olympic Games, noting that it was time for a medal to be secondary.
“Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson is among those to open up about his struggles with his mental health. Davidson, who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in 2017, said to actor Glenn Close in Variety’s Actors on Actors series, “I was always just so confused all the time, and just thought something was wrong, and didn’t know how to deal with it.” Davidson sincerely hopes that other people struggling can find a diagnosis in order to move forward. “When somebody finally tells you, the weight of the world feels lifted off your shoulders.”
Actor and A-list singer Selena Gomez makes mental health a key component of all of her recent career endeavors. Gomez first voluntarily checked into a treatment facility to deal with the effects of her lupus in 2014, an autoimmune disease that can cause severe depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Over the next few years, this battle continued, with Gomez dealing with the pressures of growing up in the public eye, cancelling the end of her Revival Tour because of depression and anxiety and enduring a kidney transplant for her lupus in 2017. In 2020, the singer revealed she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “It doesn’t scare me once I know it,” Gomez said about her diagnosis.
Since then, Gomez put mental health awareness at the forefront of her career, founding cosmetics brand Rare Beauty in 2020 with the mission of fostering self-love and creating the Rare Impact Fund to “connect underserved communities with access to mental health services,” according to Forbes. Articles and other mental health resources can be found on the brand’s website. Gomez and her mom have also created Wondermind, a media hub where mental health discussion is open and honest and people can hear from health professionals.
Most recently, Shawn Mendes cancelled his remaining tour dates in 2022 as well as those in 2023 to focus on his mental health, stating that he “was not at all ready for how difficult touring would be after this time away.” Mendes added that the toll of touring led him to speak to health professionals, saying that “it has become more clear that I need to take the time I’ve never taken personally, to ground myself and come back stronger.” Mendes played seven of his 87 scheduled shows.
One can only hope that the spotlight on mental health continues to grow. If celebrities continue to share their hardships regarding the cut-throat industry and their own personal struggles, it allows them to relate to their fans and put previously taboo topics in Hollywood at the forefront of the conversation.