While she may be on tour with her BFF Nick Jonas right now, Demi Lovato knows when to prioritize things that really matter. That’s part of why we totally love her; she’s not just a popstar and she uses her platform to talk about complicated issues.
For years, Demi has tirelessly campaigned to raise awareness surrounding the issues that affect those who live with mental illness. The 23-year-old has spoken candidly about her own struggles with bipolar disorder, and in 2012 she made a documentary with MTV, “Demi Lovato: Stay Strong”, which dealt with issues surrounding eating disorders, depression, self harm, and her own time in a treatment center in 201o.
Now the “Cool for the Summer” singer has used a bigger platform to talk about the stigmas those who live with mental illness face. Speaking at the 2016 Democratic National Convention yesterday (25 July), Demi took to the stage to give an impassioned speech about what it’s like to live with mental illness.
“Like millions of Americans, I am living with mental illness. But I’m lucky,” she said, “I had the resources and support to get treatment at a top facility.”
Continuing, Demi went on to explain that this isn’t the case of many. “Unfortunately, too many Americans from all walks of life don’t get help, either because they fear the stigma or cannot afford treatment. Untreated mental illness can lead to devastating consequences, including suicide, substance abuse, and longterm medical issues,” she explained, before going on to urge politicians to support laws that allow for better access to healthcare and support.
Demi is currently taking the treatment center who helped her on tour with her to offer those who are attending her concert and might need help options and a safe space to discuss various issues.
“I stand here today as proof that you can live a normal and empowered life with mental illness,” she said, honestly. “I’m proud to support a presidential candidate who will fight to ensure all people living with mental health conditions get the care they need to live fulfilling lives. That candidate is Hillary Clinton. Let’s make her the next president of the United States of America.”
Demi then went on to perform her self-empowerment anthem “Confident.”
We’re so, so glad that artists like Demi Lovato are willing to stand up in public forums and use their positions to help raise awareness for important and life-changing causes.
According to statistics complied by the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 Americans were diagnosed with some form of mental illness last year. That’s an estimated 43 million people living with mental illness in the U.S. alone.
Like Demi points out, more needs to be done to raise awareness and to educate people about mental illness.
Watch Demi Lovato’s incredible speech and performance below.