Caroline Goldstein
Updated May 08, 2020 @ 2:54 pm

Whether you have a history of mental health challenges or not, it’s likely that you’re facing difficult thoughts and emotions amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Now, more than ever, widespread access to mental health care is just as important as access to physical health care. As a longtime mental health advocate, Demi Lovato is helping to further that mission. On Monday, April 20th, Lovato announced that she’s helping to launch The Mental Health Fund.

Proceeds from the fund go toward four mental health organizations that provide free, 24/7 crisis counseling via text.

“So many have been left alone with their thoughts, their anxieties, their abusers—and are struggling with the uncertainty of these times,” Lovato wrote in her Instagram announcement. “That is why I am helping to launch #TheMentalHealthFund to support organizations who are meeting the increased demand in crisis counseling due to COVID-19. You are not alone.”

In an interview with People, Lovato expressed the importance of organizations like Crisis Text Line, Kids Help Phone, Shout, and—all of which will receive donations from the fundraiser. These free crisis intervention organizations are for whenever “you feel really alone and you don’t know where to turn or who to talk to,” Lovato said. Services are available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Ireland.

The volunteers on the other end of the line are trained to support people struggling with all manner of mental health challenges, including “anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, domestic violence, or eating disorders,” according to The Mental Health Fund’s website. Though, of course, you don’t need an official diagnosis to reach out.

In her People interview, Lovato also recognized the importance of de-stigmatizing mental health issues—as well as the inherent power in seeking guidance.

“Asking for help is not a sign of weakness,” Lovato said. “It’s a sign of strength.”

“Oftentimes our society tells us that if we ask for help, we are weak,” she continued. “But the strongest thing someone can do is take that first step in getting help, whatever shape or form that is.”

Lovato said that—along with the support of her family, friends, and “a really good treatment team”—cultivating a strong self-care practice has been crucial for maintaining her mental health during quarantine. Recently, she told Miley Cyrus that exercising, meditating, attending church (via an app), and working on creative projects have all helped her to maintain balance.

Sometimes there’s only so much we can do on our own. The organizations participating in The Mental Health Fund are filling that gap. So far, The Mental Health Fund has raised over $2 million of its $5 million goal. You can visit the fund’s GoFundMe page if you’d like to donate. There, you’ll also find local text lines you can reach out to whenever you want or need.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, HelloGiggles is committed to providing accurate and helpful coverage to our readers. As such, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage you to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments, and visit our coronavirus hub.