Lady Gaga has spoken about the importance of being open and honest about mental illness in the wake of the suicides of designer Kate Spade and Chef Anthony Bourdain last week.
Gaga made the comments at the Children Mending Hearts’ Empathy Rocks fundraiser where she and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, accepted the Global Changemakers Award on behalf of their Born This Way Foundation.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) June 11, 2018
Gaga, real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, detailed her own struggles with mental illness and discussed the importance of treating sufferers with kindness.
“I have struggled for a long time, both being public and not public about my mental health issues or my mental illness. But I truly believe that secrets keep you sick,” Gaga admitted. “We bring people together to have real, honest conversations and to be kind. Kindness is not an afterthought to our work. It is the driving power for everything we do. It is the lens we view every challenge through. It is framing the way we put everything around every 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 is weak. It is tremendously powerful. It can change the way that we view each other, the way that we view our communities and the way that we work. Even the way that we feel about ourselves, by being kinder to ourselves. We need more kindness in the world.”
Gaga, who started her foundation to “provide youth with genuine opportunities, quality resources and platforms to make their voices heard,” credited her mother for helping her through her own troubles with mental illness.
“Thank you, Mom, for not being afraid of my darkest thoughts and for doing what many don’t realise goes very far: Just holding my hand and running an organisation that helps hold the hands of others and join the hands of others,” the 32-year-old said.
“I love you. Suicidal ideation feels like a spell, and we have to have empathy. Be kind and help each other break the spell and live and thrive.”