Plenty of celebs do charity. They donate money, they do PSA videos, they do benefit concerts. But Lady Gaga is doing even more, and I hope other celebs take note. She's offering free counseling services to fans at the BTW BornBrave pre-show.
Lady Gaga has already giving countless young people validation and support through her music and performances. She has created a community of "monsters" -- her tongue-in-cheek term of affection for fans who don't feel like they fit in with the mainstream. But the counseling takes that a step further.
She announced Friday via Facebook:
At the BornBrave Bus you have access to professional private or group chats about mental health, depression, bullying, school & friends... BornBrave Bus Is a place where mental health + depression are taken seriously w/ no judgement, FREE real help available to all. I feel like most kids don't look for help because they feel embarrassed so mom + I wanted to break the stigmas around "help" and make it fun.
Wow, such a big-hearted way to give back to her fans! And of course she's right -- too many kids don't get the help they need because of the stigma. Or maybe because they don't know where to go, or because they don't trust most medical professionals. I think Lady Gaga is creating a place where people feel safe getting that help. It's part of the mission of her Born This Way foundation.
After horrifying tragedies like the Newtown shootings, we talk a lot about dealing with mental illness. But as awful as those mass killings are, mental illness strikes in countless quieter ways every day: Substance abuse, physical abuse, unplanned pregnancies, cutting, and yes, suicide. People are suffering while we look the other way, or blame lack of "personal responsibility" or willpower. But maybe with more people like Lady Gaga taking real action, more tragedies, large and small, can be prevented.
Would you be more willing to get therapy if it were free and offered before an event you're attending?
Image via LadyGaga.com/BornThisWayBall