9 celebs who have raised awareness of mental health issues [Photo Gallery]

Through their work and personal stories, these stars are giving mental illness sufferers hope for tomorrow. 

Flip through our gallery or swipe left for more
Flip through our gallery or swipe left for more
10 Oct 2017

Flip through our gallery or swipe left for more

Mental illness is a pretty difficult topic to broach, so thankfully, more and more A-listers are bringing the subject to the forefront in a bid to decrease the stigma surrounding an issue that afflicts many.

One in 10 people living in Singapore suffer from a mental disorder, according to the Institute of Mental Health. So, when public personalities talk about mental illness, it sends a powerful message to people around the world who are facing this debilitating condition or have faced it at some point.

Their message is loud and clear: Mental illness is a chronic disease that can plague anyone ― and there’s no shame in admitting to it.

These stars ― whether they’ve had their own mental-health issues or know someone who has ― are keeping the conversation about mental health going to create more awareness of its importance. We salute them for speaking up! Scroll through the photo gallery to find out who these star-studded role models are…

#1 Carrie Fisher
#1 Carrie Fisher
10 Oct 2017

#1 Carrie Fisher

The late Carrier Fisher may forever be known for playing the iconic Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, but the actress was also pivotal in bringing hope to people struggling with mental disorders. The 60-year-old ― who died suddenly in December 2016 of a heart attack ― had always been open with her struggles with bipolar disorder. She drew attention to the fact that bipolar is a medical problem caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and not a character flaw. Fisher, mum to actress Billie Catherine Lourd, 25, spoke candidly about her treatment plans, which included rehab and the controversial electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). This involved passing small electric currents through the brain to change its chemistry, so as to reverse mental illness symptoms. “I outlasted my problems… I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you,” Fisher once said in an interview. (Photo: Wall Street Journal) 

#2 Halle Berry
#2 Halle Berry
10 Oct 2017

#2 Halle Berry

On the red carpet, Academy award-winning actress Halle Berry, 51, seems to have it all. However, not many people know that Berry once sat in her locked car, ready to commit suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide. This was after her marriage to professional baseball player David Justice ended in 1997. Berry, who has been battling depression since she was 10 because of an abusive father, refers to that dark period as the weakest she had ever been. What saved her that day was an image of her own mother coming to rescue her. “She sacrificed so much for her children, and to end my life would be an incredibly selfish thing to do...” Berry said in an interview. Soon after that, she started therapy to get her life back on track. Today, the mum to Maceo, 4, and daughter, Nahla, 9, has created more awareness for mental health through her role in the movie Frankie and Alice. Berry’s character in the film has multiple personality disorder. “People who live with mental illness often struggle. Others look down on them or have negative opinions of them. Hopefully, this film will do some good,” said Berry. (Photo: The Today Show)

#3 Catherine Zeta-Jones
#3 Catherine Zeta-Jones
10 Oct 2017

#3 Catherine Zeta-Jones

The notoriously private Catherine Zeta-Jones, 48, never wanted to become the poster girl for mental illness. However, she decided to open up about her long battle with bipolar disorder after her marriage to Michael Douglas, 73, went through a rough patch when he battled tongue cancer in 2010. Zeta-Jones, who is mum to Carys, 14, and Dylan, 17, checked herself into hospital in 2011, and again in 2013, for treatment. The actress has also candidly spoken about her struggles in interviews. “‘I’m not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops but… I hope fellow sufferers will know it is completely controllable. I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it, and that those who don’t have it under control will seek help with all that is available to treat it,” she once said. (Photo: UPI.com) 

#4 Prince William, Prince Harry and Duchess Kate
#4 Prince William, Prince Harry and Duchess Kate
10 Oct 2017

#4 Prince William, Prince Harry and Duchess Kate

In 2011, the royal trio launched the Heads Together campaign, which aims to encourage people to feel more comfortable talking about their mental well-being. Since then, they strived to end the stigma surrounding mental health from every possible angle. Prince William’s had a widely seen conversation with singer and mental health-survivor Lady Gaga. And when Prince Harry visited Singapore earlier this year, he urged local youths to open up about mental health. “Mental health, for some reason, people go 'eurgh’, but you have to talk about your mental health in order to be mentally fit,” Harry, 33, said during that dialogue. Duchess Kate, 35, has also joined her husband and brother-in-law to spearhead numerous mental health awareness initiatives. The royal brothers admit to spending years drowning in depression after their mum’s sudden death, as they did not have an outlet to process their feelings. William, 35, a father of two (and a third on the way) is also hoping to target schools in the next phase of the campaign. “You’d struggle to find a parent out there who wouldn’t want the well-being of their child to be taken care of at school,” he said in an interview. (Photo: Hello Magazine) 

#5 Glenn Close
#5 Glenn Close
10 Oct 2017

#5 Glenn Close

Since her family’s struggles with mental illness, actress and activist Glenn Close, 70, has worked hard to highlight awareness of this disease. Close’s sister, Jessie, was diagnosed with bipolar in 2004 and Jessie’s son, Calen, is battling a schizoaffective disorder. Determined to learn more about mental illness and create more awareness, Close started the non-profit organisation Bring Change 2 Mind in 2010. “We thought the best thing to do was work against the stigma that surrounds mental illness… It’s a chronic illness like anything else,” Close once said in an interview. The Oscar-nominated actress, who is also mum to actress Annie Stark, 29, roped in good friend and acclaimed director Ron Howard to direct the organisation’s public service announcements. In these, celebs like Wayne Brady share their  mental health experiences. Together with her sister, Close now uses her fame as a platform to reach out to various forums and media, so as to publicise their efforts to bring about change on the subject of mental illness. “It has brought us closer together as a family,” Close adds.  (Photo: Vanity Fair)

#6 Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard
#6 Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard
10 Oct 2017

#6 Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard

Kudos to this power couple for somehow juggling a happy marriage, a successful acting career and two kids, while living with mental illness. Both actors see no shame in talking about their mental health challenges. Whenever they get a chance, Bell recounts her struggles with anxiety and depression since childhood, while Shepard opens up about his battle with substance abuse. “It is a disease… they deserve the attention of a mental health professional…therapy is not something to be embarrassed about,” Bell said in an interview. Their efforts to raise awareness and strengthen family ties was recently acknowledged when team Bell-Shepard was awarded a Special Recognition Award at the 2016 Voice Awards organised by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (Photo: US Weekly) 

#7 Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
#7 Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
10 Oct 2017

#7 Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

Hollywood heartthrob Bard Pitt, 53, spoke publically about his long-term battle with depression for the first time after his shocking split from wife Angelina Jolie, 42, last year. In a confession that caught the world’s attention, Pitt, who shares six kids with Jolie, admitted in an interview to decades of heavy drinking and doing drugs. “I was boozing too much. It's just become a problem. And I'm really happy it's been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again,” Pitt was quoted as saying. Jolie, who has also been open with her struggles with mental illness since young, found that her humanitarian work helped to heal her. Pitt, who admits that his depression might have been behind why his marriage failed, is working through his issues with therapy. (Photo: Popsugar UK) 

#8 Eva Mendes
#8 Eva Mendes
10 Oct 2017

#8 Eva Mendes

When it comes to overall health, the fit and fab looking Eva Mendes, 43, places just as much importance on physical health as she does mental health. Mum to Amanda, 1, and Esmerelda, 3, Mendes, who is dating actor Ryan Gosling, 36, is a firm believer in therapy. But not the kind where she can put her feet up and talk about herself. “Having a therapist who’s totally objective and who points out my patterns ― that’s really helpful,” she explained in an interview. (Photo:www.today.com)

#9 Jared Padalecki
#9 Jared Padalecki
10 Oct 2017

#9 Jared Padalecki

At the height of his career, Supernatural star Jared Padalecki, 35, just couldn’t understand why he was feeling the way he did. “I was 25 years old. I had my own TV show. I had dogs that I loved and tons of friends and I was getting adoration from fans and I was happy with my work, but I couldn’t figure out what it was…” Padalecki admits. After breaking down on set, Padalecki spoke with a doctor, who diagnosed him with clinical depression. It was then that the father-of-three learnt that it’s not always people who can’t find a job, or can’t fit in society that struggle with depression. To do his part to help those struggling with mental issues, Padalecki raises funds by selling his exclusive baseball shirts that shows a photo of him with this arms crossed and the words, Always Keep Fighting. “There’s no shame in dealing with these things,” said the star in an interview, who admits to feeling better after taking a break. “There's no shame in having to fight every day, but fighting every day, and presumably, if you're still alive to hear these words or read this interview, then you are winning your war. You’re here.” (Photo: www.screenertv.com) 

Like us on Facebook and check SmartParents regularly for the latest reads!

In case you missed these stories…

MUM SAYS If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t have had kids

MUM’S BLACK BOOK 9 great online toy stores to check out [Photo Gallery]

MUM SAYS I stopped my daughter’s tuition 3 months before her PSLE