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Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty Pledges To Raise $100 Million For Mental Health

[July 22, 2020: Forbes]

If you are one of the 1 in 5 adults with a mental health condition in the United States, even in 2020 having a diagnosis or going to treatment can feel isolating, shameful, and stigmatizing. Dr. Jane Delgado, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health explains, “The issue of stigma continues to be huge. There is stigma about recognizing the problem, stigma that forces people to try to solve it themselves, stigma if you seek professional help, and stigma when you take the medication.” Perhaps that is why nearly 1/3 of Americans expressed worry about others judging them for getting mental health treatment, and less than half of the people who have diagnoses get the treatment they need. But, this could all be different if we viewed mental health as common, the same as having any physical health condition, or, frankly, normal.

One way to get there is with the help of self-disclosure and advocacy from people who are well known and looked up to by others. When celebrities share their own mental health histories, it is not just another headline, it has real, positive impact. Fans can suddenly feel less alone because she/he/they had the same struggles, or might feel more safe to seek treatment because that person did. That’s exactly what happened when Selena Gomez told Miley Cyrus on her Instagram Live show, Bright Minded, about her Bipolar Diagnosis in April. That mission is only furthered today, on her 28th birthday, as Gomez launches the Rare Impact Fund. It will raise $100 million over the next ten years to help address the gaps in mental health services, particularly for underserved communities. To achieve that goal, one percent of all sales from Rare Beauty products, her mission-driven beauty brand, as well as funds raised from partners will go toward the fund. By the time the fund hits $100 million, it will be one of the largest known funds in support of mental health from a corporate entity.

Gomez explains that when she started her company, Rare Beauty, it was important that it had a message behind it. She felt that as a society we are regularly bombarded with imagery that “makes people feel less than or the need to achieve a perceived perfection, which is absolutely unattainable.” She knew mental health would be at the forefront of their mission, in part, because, “I have been open with my own personal mental health struggles and have seen myself affected by feeling less than. Through my openness, I have heard from many young people over the years struggling as well and so this is something very close to my heart. ” In other words, her story inspired others to share their truths, breaking down barriers and stigma, and opening conversations. Starting the fund is really just the next step.

In mental health, this type of funding is especially critical. Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, explains that federal investment in mental health is “a disproportionately minuscule amount,” yet there is clear evidence that investing in mental health literacy, research, and programs works and leads to better physical health, workplace outcomes, and relationships. However, as Dr. Moutier notes, “we haven't translated that into our federal investment as a nation yet. We'll get there, though, with advocacy efforts and awareness raising like Selena's organization is doing.”.... MORE



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