Halsey is known for speaking out about her issues with mental health, rooted in the trauma of sexual assault, her bipolar diagnosis, and suffering a miscarriage. She knows that sometimes talking about it is the best thing a person can do.
During National Suicide Prevention Week, which runs from September 8 to 14, 2019, Halsey is teaming up with Radio.com for a two-hour live broadcast called "I'm Listening." The broadcast will air online and across their linear radio stations on September 7 at 7 p.m. ET (and in all local time zones). The program will share personal stories from musicians including Halsey, Lizzo, Tegan and Sara, and others. The aim is to destigmatize talking about mental health issues
"So, one of the things for me, moreso than even being able to ask for help, was recognizing the problems to begin with and noticing the warning signs," Halsey says. "Noticing patterns. Being in touch with myself enough to know when something is wrong. You know, when my body's check engine light went on. Instead of just ignoring the problem, being able to say, 'This time I'm going to take it to the shop in time, before the car breaks down.'"
Kristin Zeising, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and couples therapist in San Diego, explained to Refinery29 that living in an "individualistic society" forces people to think they should be able to solve their problems all on their own. "There is a sense of shame for not feeling emotionally healthy, yet going to a therapist to assist in becoming emotionally healthy is often stigmatized," she said.
Seeing help for mental health issues is especially challenging for marginalized communities, including Black women, who are statistically more likely than the general population to face health challenges, the most prominent among them including depression, ADHD, PTSD, and death by suicide. Asian American immigrants, for whom conversations around mental health are still stigmatized. And members of the LGBTQ+ community, who face significant treatment disparities due to discrimination.
Lizzo, who also participates in the program, has spoken but about her issues with self-confidence and depression on Instagram. “The fact of the matter is, I do have people to talk to. But I get so sad sometimes I feel like there is nothing anyone can say,” Lizzo said in a press release provided by the outlet. “Nobody can walk inside of your body and fix your brain — not fix it, but change your brain around to feel things differently. By participating with ‘I’m Listening’ I hope that by sharing my feelings it will help everyone understand that it’s totally normal to have the lows with the highs – and sometimes asking for help is the first step.”
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.