During my journey with mental health and acceptance, I have found a lot of people that i have looked up to. As we have seen a rise in suicide in the press due to major figures taking their lives, more and more individuals are speaking out. This makes me hopeful as so many people are sharing their experiences and being supportive to those who are struggling. However, there have been people who I feel have been supporting mental health awareness for a while and those I consider my mental health heroes. I am going to talk about two women who have been strong inspirations for me but by no means are they the only people I admire.
Demi Lovato: I have been following Demi Lovato’s career since Camp Rock. I always have looked up to her, seeing that I had long brown hair and wanted to act and sing. But as I grew and Demi grew, I found that I could relate to her in more ways than I knew. I think what really hit home was when she went to rehab during the Camp Rock 2 Tour. She showed that she was taking responsibility to better herself. She then became a huge advocate of mental health awareness, speaking very publicly about it and supporting organizations like the Jed Foundation. It was inspiring to me that someone was being this person who uses her platform to discuss something that goes unspoken too often. She made me feel like she was just a normal person, who struggled with mental health problems like I did. When I was in the depths of my worst mental health struggles, her music was always something that I have on my depression playlist. She sings with such raw emotion that hits you straight in the heart. I feel what she is feeling when she sings. It’s powerful. Then she has songs like “Skyscraper” and “Warrior” that inspire you to stand up and keep fighting. They have always shown me that if she can rise above, maybe I can too. When she released her documentary on YoutubeRed, I knew I had to watch it immediately. It was so incredibly real and raw. I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t. She spoke about not only mental health but substance abuse and other things she has struggled with. I watched and the only thought in my mind was there is this absolutely stunning individual who so many people love who is struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. She was like me. She documented how much has changed in her life in the few years and states how hard it can be. Healing is a journey and she has shown me that its going to take wrong turns sometimes, but surrounding yourself with good people and reminding yourself of the amazing things in life is so important. She also has been such a role model for self love and acceptance. She posts pictures without makeup which I love. I mean she’s gorgeous but still has confidence issues. Honestly, I admire her and the journey she has been on so much. If I get the chance to meet her one day, I hope I can thank her for everything that she has done for me through the years from music to advocacy.
Kelsey Darragh: I first found Kelsey on Buzzfeed, like most people that have who know of her. She is absolutely hilarious which is why I first liked her. She is also very open about speaking on a lot of different things, like sexuality, gender, chronic pain and mental health. She talks a lot about her own struggles with mental health and how it affects and is affected by everything in her life. She also manages to be this badass woman who I think is being such a role model for the modern woman. She makes a lot of videos about being a woman in today’s society and to combat the gender stereotypes that are put on women. She also made a video that made me feel so appreciative for her called “My Pill Journey”. She documents what medication she has taken over her life to combat mental health. It is so amazing because I am currently on that journey myself. I think it can show so many people that this isn’t something we can just get over so easily. I think I began to look at Kelsey as a mental health advocate when I began to listen to her podcast “AdultSh1t” with Kate Peterman. They spoke about a lot of things but many times, they spoke candidly on how to live in a world today with a mental health disorder. What I loved is how they spoke through their own personal experiences and were very honest about them. Again, it showed me that someone else out there was feeling things similar to myself and had difficulty overcoming them. It also inspired me to be more open about my mental health story in the hopes of helping someone. It’s why I started writing this blog. Kelsey also has some sick merch that says “anxiety queen” and “confidently insecure” and half of the proceeds go to charities supporting mental health awareness. Its awesome that she is proudly displaying a part of her to the world that has been told to be quiet for so long. I hope one day that I can have the confidence to live without fear of judgement.
I find strength in looking up to these women and hope that you have people in your lives that you can do the same. Let me know who you think are mental health heroes!