Though last week was mental health week, it’s important to remember that dialogue about mental wellbeing should never be reserved for only one week. This week, mega-star Lady Gaga opened up about her own mental health and her Born This Way Foundation, which aims to help disenfranchised teens, in an interview with Billboard. We’ll let her do the talking:
“This foundation was born from the years I spent watching my fans grow up. Many of them were really young: 11-to-17-year-olds in very tumultuous times. They would tell me their stories, and many of them were very dark. As I began to care for them and to see myself in them, I felt I had to do something that would remind kids they’re not alone. When they feel isolated, that’s when it leads to suicide.
There are a lot of kids that I could talk about. One I’ve become very good friends with is this girl, Emma. She has cerebral palsy. She’s in a wheelchair. I met her on the  Born Brave Bus, when it followed the Born This Way Ball Tour, and we shared a very deep connection about the pain she was in. There were all these people around: cameras and journalists wanting to capture the moment between us, and I said to everyone, “Could you leave us alone?” I just wanted to be alone with her and ask her if she was OK. She was in her chair, kind of hunched over, but still with this very brave smile on her face. I swore I was in the presence of maybe one of the greatest people. Moments like that make you go, “Everyone should learn from this person. This person knows what it means to self-empower through adversity, this person knows what it means to be strong when you’re not.”
Gaga should be commended for the amazing work she’s doing with kids, and it’s even taking place directly in her music. Til It Happens To You came out in September of this year, and is a true story, drawing upon the sexual assault she experienced when she was 19. Check the video below, and read the full interview here.