Singer and songwriter Demi Lovato is the spokesperson for the new Be Vocal: Speak Up For Mental Health Campaign. The initiative is being led by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals in partnership with a number of advocacy organizations including the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, The JED Foundation, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Lovato suffers from bipolar disorder and bipolar depression, and talks about it openly in the PSA below. According to the press release, 44 million people (or 1 in 5) in the US are diagnosed with a mental health condition each year.
Lovato, who is 22 years old, has been at the forefront of the issue, talking about her own struggles (she first sought treatment in 2010) and, back in December raised money for her Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program, which helps with the cost of mental health treatment. She was inspired to launch the program in honor of her father, who died in 2013. He also battled mental health issues.
For her and the partners in the campaign, breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness is just as important as fundraising. In a statement to People magazine, Paul Gionfriddo, the president and CEO of Mental Health America said, “MHA’s founder, Clifford Beers, declared over 100 years ago that we must address mental illness and ‘fight in the open,’ and that is exactly what Demi Lovato is doing.”
Just getting people to speak honestly about a sensitive or taboo topic can sometimes be the most difficult part of a campaign.