Demi Lovato is the voice we need to listen to right now about mental health, as she has experienced it firsthand; she has openly discussed that she is bipolar.
Now, she is using her platform to speak up about mental illness and is bringing the issue right up to Congress.
Today, Lovato met with legislators at the National Council today (Behavioral Health's Hill Day) in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the 'Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health' campaign.
By sharing her story, Lovato hopes to bring about better access to healthcare, as well as general mental health reform.
"I think it's important that people no longer look at mental illness as something taboo to talk about. It's something that's extremely common, one in five adults has a mental illness, so basically everyone is essentially connected to this problem and this epidemic. The problem with mental illness is people don't look at it as a physical illness. When you think about it, the brain is actually the most complex organ in your body. We need to treat it like a physical illness and take it seriously."
Lovato's father Patrick was a bipolar-schizophrenic who died in 2013, and Lovato started the 'Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program' to honor him.
"The estranged relationship that I had with my father really affected my life growing up, and it was because he was untreated. He inspired my charity in order to help people live a happy life. Nobody deserves to suffer. But it was a very complicated situation, and that's why I decided to write about it. Hopefully people will be able to use that as inspiration and something that will help comfort them."
In light of her most powerful, honest, and vulnerable album 'Confident' set to release on October 16th, Lovato seems to be following it with a very bare and natural photo shoot as well as the action to use her voice and make the necessary changes for those affected by mental illness.
Lovato encourages everyone to participate:
"It could be as small as a hashtag or a tweet, it could be as big as joining us at Capitol Hill. Whatever you can do to help out is what I want you to take away from this. I think it's extremely important that we continue to raise the awareness and hopefully convince Congress to take more action."
Be vocal. Speak up. Help make a difference at BeVocalSpeakUp.com.