Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Demi Lovato opens up about her struggles with mental health in powerful speech

demi-lovato-dnc.JPG

For years, Demi Lovato has been refreshingly open about her struggles with mental health.

Now, the singer and actress has urged US politicians to prioritise the issue, saying in a speech: “We can do better.”

Lovato was performing onstage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where Hillary Clinton will be officially confirmed as the Democratic candidate for president of the United States.

Addressing the assembled crowd, she said: “Like millions of Americans, I am living with mental illness. But I am lucky, I had the resources and support to get treatment at a top facility.”

“Unfortunately too many Americans from all walks of life don't get help. Either because they fear the stigma, or cannot afford treatment.”

hillary-clinton-demi-lovato

Demi Lovato with Hillary Clinton at a Democratic event in January

Lovato, 23, first found fame as a Disney Channel star in the late '00s, before launching a solo singing career and becoming a judge on the X Factor USA. She has also struggled with depression, bipolar disorder, bulimia, self-harm and substance abuse issues, and entered rehab at the age of 18.

She told the convention that she wanted to “urge every politician to support laws that provide better access to healthcare and support for everyone", and revealed that she takes members of staff from the treatment centre where she sought help on tour with her – not for herself, but so that other people might also have the opportunity to get help.

“This is not about politics, it’s simply the right thing to do,” Lovato said. Ultimately, she concluded, “we can do better. Every one of us can make a difference. By getting educated on this epidemic and its frightening statistics, and by breaking the stigma.

“It may not be a lot, but we have to believe that every small action counts.

In part because of the way that healthcare provision is structured in the US, it can be shockingly difficult for Americans with mental health issues to find affordable support. Almost 60% of adults with mental illness receive no treatment across the whole of the US, according to Mental Health America.

Hillary Clinton has vowed to address the issue in her bid for the White House, promising in January that her administration will treat mental health with the same seriousness as physical health.

Images: Rex Features, Getty

Related

jennifer aniston giffoni festival red carpet.jpg

Jennifer Aniston breaks down during Q&A: “My heart can’t take it"

PHT_140716_054.jpg

Victoria Pendleton and iconic sportswomen speak out about depression

Jennifer Aniston.jpg

Top stress-busting tips from the world's most successful women

rexfeatures_5689844fi.jpg

Kirsten Dunst to direct film adaptation of The Bell Jar

iStock_92039563_LARGE.jpg

Experts reveal best breakfast to help people fighting depression

Left: Jessie Cave. Right: Sally Nixon

Meet the female illustrators taking on Instagram's cult of perfection

iStock_88711917_XXLARGE.jpg

Facebook rolls out suicide prevention feature worldwide

rexfeatures_5658884aj.jpg

Kristen Bell on the stigma surrounding mental health

578380591a000024006f9983.png

These mental health greetings cards remind you you’re not alone

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Ellen Degeneres’ sweet anniversary message to Pink keeping it real

by Nicola Colyer
17 Aug 2017

Chris Brown tried to excuse his attack on Rihanna, and it’s not OK

“Violence is a choice he made – and he alone is responsible for it”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Serena Williams on how skin colour affects what people think of her

“I feel like people think I’m mean”

by Amy Swales
17 Aug 2017

This Hocus Pocus star’s pregnancy announcement is pure 90s perfection

“I smell children…”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Anna Faris on knowing when to call time on an unhappy relationship

“Don’t be afraid to seek your independence”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Why Taylor Swift’s sexual assault verdict is a victory for womankind

The pop star has completely changed the narrative

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton defends Donald Trump from sexual assault allegations

“I think [the women] are just trying to get attention and get fame...”

by Moya Crockett
16 Aug 2017

The personality trait that Mindy Kaling hopes to pass on to her baby

Kaling gets real about motherhood as she confirms her pregnancy

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton describes the emotional fallout of her 2001 sex tape

“I could not leave my house for months”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017

Taylor Swift wins sexual assault case for “anyone who feels silenced”

“My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017