I couldn't think of two people better suited to be advocates for mental health than Prince William and Lady Gaga. Not because I want to imply that their mental health is cause for concern, but because these two lovely humans have consistently dedicated their time and efforts to charitable causes with a social angle to them. To be fair, Lady Gaga has been open about her mental health journey, which only endears her more to her fans. While William's brother Prince Harry recently opened up about his own mental health in the wake of his mother's death, William has never indicated whether he has struggled with mental health; that certainly doesn't disqualify him from caring about the mental health and well-being of others.
In a lighter moment of consciousness-raising, Lady Gaga FaceTimed Prince William to talk mental health awareness. Streamed through the Royal Family's Facebook page, the short video showed these two connecting over an issue that tends to get stigmatized. There's no doubt that it was nice to see these two major public figures come together over FaceTime, but knowing it was to advocate for mental health awareness made the occasion all the more special.
Their good rapport was instantaneous and it opened up the floor for them to compliment each other on their respective mental health initiatives. For his part, Prince William explained to Lady Gaga why he was so invested in raising awareness around mental health issues in the U.K. "[Prince] Harry, Catherine [his wife] and I really felt this was such an important area that throughout all our charitable work, whether it was the veterans, homelessness, addiction, most of it seemed to stem back to mental health issues. I read your open letter you wrote the other day and I thought it was incredibly moving and very brave of you to write down such personal feelings."
Lady Gaga got the opportunity to tell to Prince William her own push-and-pull relationship with being in the public eye and the kind of pressure it adds when you're already working through mental health issues. "For me, waking up every day and feeling sad and going on stage is something that is very hard to describe. There's a lot of shame attached to mental illness. You feel like something's wrong with you. In my life, I go, 'Oh my goodness, look at all of these beautiful, wonderful things that I have. I should be so happy.' But you can't help it if in the morning when you wake up, you're so tired, you’re so sad."
Seeing these two celebs come together and get honest about their personal and professional connections to this cause is totally inspiring. Here's to hoping this conversation is one of many that we as a society can have about mental illness go forward.
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