While in attendance at Children Mending Hearts’ Empathy Rocks fundraiser where she presented her mom Cynthia Germanotta with the Global Changemakers Award, Lady Gaga got candid about mental health and called for people to show kindness to one another. Here’s what she had to say!
The singer and her mother were also both honored for their joint Born This Way Foundation.
That is when Lady Gaga started talking to the crowd about topics such as struggling with mental illness and suicide in light of the tragic passing of both Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade.
Gaga suggested that showing kindness to all people can sometimes help those scared to come forward and talk about their problems to do just that.
She began by explaining the objectives of her and her mother’s organization, saying: ‘We bring people together to have real, honest conversations and to be kind. Kindness isn’t an afterthought to our work. It’s the driving power for everything we do. It’s the lens that we view every challenge through. It’s framing the way that we put everything around each possible solution. To me, almost every problem you can think of can be solved with kindness. At least it could be made better.’
‘Kindness has a soft undertone. Sometimes people think it’s weak. It’s tremendously powerful. It can change the very way that we view each other. The way we view our communities and the way we work. Even the way we feel about ourselves, by being kinder to ourselves. We need more kindness in the world.’
She went on to read a letter from one of her close friends who has struggled with mental illness.
‘I cannot remain silent any longer. The passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain made me want to speak up about my mental illness. I’ve been experiencing suicidal ideation and cyclical obsessive suicidal thoughts for the past four years. At first, I thought I was alone and a bad person, but once I was brave enough to tell my friends and family—would they just think I was looking for attention? Would I be hospitalized against my will?’ she read.
‘I was able, to be honest with my psychiatrist. The honesty was met with love and concern and loads of support from my mental health team. I began to meet others like me. I know I’m lucky to have support like this, but there’s so much help out there if you have the courage, to be honest with yourself and others about what you’re going through.’
Finally, Gaga also told that she has dealt with mental health issues for a long time, noting that ‘I truly believe that secrets keep you sick. I realize that it is actually safer to say how I feel,’ even, or perhaps more so, as a celebrity.