BOSTON (AP) — Pop star and actress Selena Gomez has made no secret of her personal mental health struggles — they’ve made her an outspoken advocate for awareness and getting other young people the help they need.
“I hope to help others feel less alone by using my platform to share my own story,” Gomez said at a White House roundtable with First Lady Jill Biden and the US earlier this year -Surgeon General Vivek Murthy In 2016, Gomez took a break to cope with anxiety, panic attacks and depression stemming from her battle with lupus. Four years later, she announced that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
On Monday, the Boston-based Ruderman Family Foundation honored the 30-year-old entertainer with its annual Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion for “getting inspired by her personal journey” to help others worldwide, access counseling and others to receive services.
“Mental health affects us all, and we all have a role to play in ensuring that everyone – regardless of background – has access to mental health services. I hope that by sharing my own story and using my platform, we can empower each other and more young people to engage with mental health,” Gomez said in a statement.
Texas-born Gomez said she strives to use her status as a public figure to share her own story in a way that empowers others.
A new documentary exploring her struggles, Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me, premiered on AppleTV+ earlier this month.
“For me, mental health is personal. Figuring out how to manage my mental health hasn’t always been easy, but I’m constantly working on it, and I hope I can help others do the same,” she said.
In 2020, the ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ actress created the Rare Impact Fund just prior to the launch of her Rare Beauty cosmetics line and pledged to donate 1% of all sales to the fund to help expand mental health services and education for young people to support people.
To date, the fund has distributed $1.7 million to nearly a dozen mental health organizations.
“Selena Gomez is a powerful embodiment of our foundation’s mental health mission—a mission that is becoming increasingly important in today’s unprecedented mental health crisis for teenagers, young adults and the general public,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation.
The award, now in its ninth year, is named for Morton E. Ruderman, a founder of the Ruderman Family Foundation. Past honorees include NBA All-Star Kevin Love, Oscar-nominated actor Taraji P. Henson, filmmakers Peter and Bobby Farrelly, Olympian Michael Phelps, Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin, and former US Senator and architect of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Tom Harkin.
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