Lady Gaga announces expansion of teen mental health program – “This program can save lives.”
Lady Gaga is expanding her teen mental health program, teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA), she announced on Wednesday according to Rolling Stone. The musician began the program through her Born This Way Foundation and the National Council for Behavioral Health in order to bring peer counseling services to schools across America. “We are in eight different schools but we’re going to add 20 more very soon,” Gaga said.
“For me, quite frankly, my dream is that this happens in every school.” She added.
At one of her Las Vegas residency shows, Gaga brought 16 students from eight schools onstage who had just completed their first tMHFA pilot.
“With teen Mental Health First Aid, we like to say, it’s okay to not be okay,” Gaga said onstage. “Sometimes when life gives you a million reasons to not want to stay, you need just one person that looks at you, listens to you, helps you get help and validates how you feel. Together, Born This Way and the National Council have put this program in eight schools and soon it will be in 20 more. I know for certain that I’m not stopping here. I want the teen Mental Health First Aid program in every school in this country.”
The program is designed to educate high school students, between grades 10 and 12, on different types of mental health disorders. This, theoretically, could make it easier for them to identify their own struggles with a background on the illness, and what options are available for treatment.
Suicide is the second leading cause of deaths in American young adults, starting at age 15, according to Very Well Health in April. Officially, suicide is responsible for 18 percent of young adult deaths. Some school health classes speak about mental health, but it is not required everywhere.
Some states do require mental health education in high schools, including New York and Virginia, according to NAMI in 2018.
Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation was co-founded in 2011 by the singer and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta.
“Born This Way looks forward, toward a future that supports the wellness of young people through an evidence-based approach that is fiercely kind, compassionate, accepting, and inclusive,” the website explains. “We celebrate the individuality of those we serve and we revere the bravery it takes to reach out and start the conversation. Together, we’re building a community that provides approachable resources, fosters genuine connection, and drives action.
Source Rolling Stone