Written by Addie Van Rijn
Happy International Women's Day! In celebration of all of the wonderful women out there, we wanted to share some of our favourite ladies who inspire us to stomp out stigma.
1. Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau
The wife of Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is an amazing mental health advocate and helps end the stigma by talking openly about her history with eating disorders. Speaking at an event on Parliament Hill for Eating Disorders Awareness Week, she said "The moment I started sharing my story, obviously I had begun on my road to recovery, the response and the people who were opening up towards their own struggles to me and to other people around them was the most beautiful gift I have ever received."
2. Oprah Winfrey
Recently, Oprah Winfrey has opened up about her work as a mental health ally and why talking about mental health is so important to her. In an article she wrote on her website, she says "More than once I've sat in the psych ward waiting to hear the diagnosis." and in regards to stigma she states "The only real shame is on us for not being willing to speak openly."
Songstress Adele lives with severe anxiety and admits that it sometimes limits her performances. Performing in larger venues often triggers her anxiety and she experiences panic attacks, sometimes even right before she goes on stage.
4. Demi Lovato
After checking herself into rehab for her bi polar disorder, Demi Lovato began openly discussing her mental health struggles. In addition to Bi Polar II, Demi has also struggled with eating disorders and self-injury.
Singer-songwriter, Kesha, has bee incredibly open about her mental health struggles, including the highly publicized sexual assault case against her former producer. Kesha has also lived with anxiety, depression and a long history with eating disorders. In an interview with Billboard Magazine she says “Finding the strength to come forward about those things is not easy. But maybe, by telling my story, I can help someone else going through tough times.”
6. Selena Gomez
Actress and songstress, Selena Gomez developed anxiety and depression after being diagnosed with Lupus, a chronic and painful disease in 2014. Just last year she checked herself into rehab to focus on her mental health and during her acceptance speech for Pop/Rock Female Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards, she used her time on stage to discuss her struggles with mental health saying "If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken"
7. Lady Gaga
In December of 2016, musical icon Lady Gaga opened up about her sexual assault. Her assault took place a number of years prior and developed PTSD as a result. Although she didn't speak about her past with mental health struggles for a number of years, she said she felt inspired to do so when meeting with a group of youth at risk.
8. Troian Bellisario
Similar to her character of Spencer Hastings in the hit tv series Pretty Little Liars, Troian has experienced struggles with her mental health in her past. She has recently opened up about her history with self-injury and eating disorders.
9. Ruby Rose
In 2016, Orange is the New Black star, Ruby Rose revealed her longstanding battle with depression. In April she posted on Instagram "I DIDNT think it meant I'd be able to live my dream. I DIDNT think it would result in this extraordinary life I get to be a part of now... It just makes me wonder how many others are days, hours, seconds away from realizing their worth... their potential. And once the dark cloud is lifted will be truly happy and free... #wealldeservetobehere #wealldeservetobehappy "
10. Michelle Obama
Former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama has spoken out on mental health issues before, during and after her time in the white house. She has openly encouraged veterans to seek help for PTSD, she has made efforts in normalizing therapy and on the topic of children's mental health she has said "We need to have the courage to reach out and have tough conversations with our friends and family members — and get help ourselves when we need it,”