Pretty much all of us will experience mental health struggles at some point in life. From actors to athletes and even royalty (hi, Prince Harry) – on the outside they seem to have it all… but nothing gives you mental health immunity, not even fame and success.
Recently, male public figures are making big waves and opening up about their own issues, helping to break down the mental health stigmas and spark important discussions. Knowing that even these famous men are going through it, might just help to eliminate the fear and share associated with seeking help.
We’ve found seven of the biggest male figures who are speaking out about their own mental health struggles. Here’s how they’re using their platforms to inspire everyone to start opening up…
7. Trevor Noah
As comedian and host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah’s day job is all about making people laugh. Beyond the jokes, Noah is passionate about bringing awareness to the mental health struggles that comedians often face, which is why he speaks out about his own. According to Trevor, “One of the best things that helps depression is work, and socializing with other people and connecting. Because when you work you find purpose.”
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Sometimes it’s good to look in the mirror and ask yourself who you are and who you want to be. Then also check if you have something in your teeth or on your shirt because other people won’t tell you because they get embarrassed for you which is weird because their inaction causes you to be embarrassed more. #inspiration #motivation #buymirrors #myself #instagram #lifelessons #DontForgetToBuyToiletPaper #SorryThataWasForMyToDoList #Lists #hashtag 📷: @imseangallagher
6. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) is one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors. But before he became an A-Lister, he had a number of personal setbacks along the way. Dwayne has publicly shared the personal stories that have impacted his mental health. He spoke to Oprah about falling short of his dream to play in the NFL and how he ended up experiencing depression at 23, saying: “I found that with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone. You’re not the first to go through it… I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and say, ‘hey, it’s going to be okay.’”
Got tons of responses to this. Thank you. We all go thru the sludge/shit and depression never discriminates. Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 2, 2018
5. Kendrick Lamar
Mental health and emotions have traditionally been taboo topics in the hyper-masculine hip-hop world. Kendrick Lamar doesn’t shy away from rapping or speaking out about his personal battles. Progressively, he’s been paving the way for young people in similar situations to do the same and speak up. He hopes that by understanding himself better, he can help others in his hometown. On his 2015 album ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’, Kendrick revealed on the track “i,” “I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent.”
4. Dacre Montgomery
You know him as the infamous Billy from Stranger Things, off-screen the Australian actor is a big advocate for mental health and speaks out about his own mental health battles stemming back to his pre-teen years. In a video for the Child Mind Institute, the actor opened up about his history and struggles with anxiety. “I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was 12 years old. Anxiety is a very real issue,” he said “I also didn’t feel like I had the skillset to combat my mental health issues. I think it’s so important for everybody to know that you can get through it.”
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When I was a kid, I was lost. I had a really tough time in school. I was a big kid who loved drama. I never got passing grades, I wasn’t popular or a gifted sports player. Girls were never interested in me. I suffered from anxiety from a young age. I was distracted and I wasn’t focused. But I had a dream, I was lucky – I knew what I wanted to do. And every night I went home and I focused on THAT. I visualised a future where my dreams became a reality. When I was 15 I failed my high school drama exams. When I was 16 I was told I needed to loose weight. When I was 17 I was told I should go to drama school and train. When I was 18 I was fired from my job. When I was in drama school I was told to leave. When I had a DREAM – I was told it wasn’t achievable. Well, you know what…. I lost weight, I went to drama school and I never stopped wanting it, I never stopped being curious. I never let the failures get me down. Because I believed in myself and I never let anyone tell me otherwise. You can do anything you set your mind to. So, go out there and get it!
3. Prince Harry
The topic of mental health is close to the Duke of Sussex’s heart. He has opened up in a number of interviews about his experiences and how he’s struggled to cope with his mother Princess Diana’s death for a long time. In his latest documentary with wife Meghan, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, he said that he is reminded of his mother’s death every time he sees a camera. In 2017, he said: “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well.”
More recently he is focuses on raising awareness of the effects of mental illness via the charity that he and the The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Heads Together. “Everyone has experienced trauma or likely to experience trauma at some point during their lives. We need to try, not to eradicate it, but to learn from previous generations so there’s not a perpetual cycle.”
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Both Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran want to ensure that not just today but every day, you look after yourself, your friends and those around you. There’s no need to suffer in silence – share how you’re feeling, ask how someone is doing and listen for the answer. Be willing to ask for help when you need it and know that we are all in this together. #WMHD Check out the accounts below for more resources and support: @Heads_Together @Calmzone @MentalHealthFoundation @CharityNoPanic @SamaritansCharity @YoungMindsUK @GiveUsAShoutInsta @Childline_official @LetsTalkAboutMentalHealth @Jedfoundation @Pandas_UK @Charitysane @MindCharity @TimeToChangeCampaign @RethinkMentalIllness @MentalHealthMates @ActionHappiness @MHFAEngland @DitchTheLabel @TheBlurtFoundation
2. Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps is the most successful Olympian of all time, with a grand total of 28 medals (23 of them gold). Outside of the pool, the now-retired swimmer has actively been speaking out about his struggles with depression and anxiety. “I’ve gone through multiple stages of depression, and I deal with anxiety all the time. There are lots of people struggling with the exact same things, so if I can get one message out there, it’s that ‘It’s OK not to be OK.'” Continuing he said, “People come up to me and share their stories and their struggles, and for me, that’s the greatest thing in the world. A chance to save a life is better than winning any gold medals.”
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“Getting help is actually a sign of strength, not of weakness.” — Michael Phelps Today on #WorldMentalHealthDay, we’re reminding everyone that it takes a great deal of strength to stand up to the stigma surrounding #mentalhealth and to advocate for those who need help. In a continued effort to open access to mental health care, we’re offering $100 off your first month of Talkspace. Visit the #linkinbio and use code “MH100″ to start your therapy journey today.
1. Jonathan Van Ness
Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness is the queen of self-love but his journey of loving himself hasn’t always been easy. He’s done a ton of work in the mental health space and has recently spoken out about dark parts of his past including sexual assault, depression, self-medication, and eating disorders. During an interview with The New York Times, Jonathan said, “These are all difficult subjects to talk about on a makeover show about hair and makeup. That doesn’t mean ‘Queer Eye’ is less valid, but I want people to realize [that they’re] never too broken to be fixed.”