Selena Gomez is hoping to raise awareness of mental health issues…
The 28-year-old Mexican American actress/singer has launched a new Mental Health 101 educational campaign with her beauty brand Rare Beauty.
In a note to her 222 million Instagram followers, the singer wrote about how Mental Health 101 “is so close to my heart because of my own struggles with mental health.”
She opened up about her bipolar diagnosis for the first time with Miley Cyrus on her Bright Minded Instagram Live series a year ago, in April 2020.
In September 2019, Gomez won the 2019 McClean Award for her mental health advocacy and detailed her struggles with anxiety and depression during her acceptance speech.
“I know first hand how scary and lonely it can feel to face anxiety and depression by yourself at a young age. If I had learned about my mental health earlier on — been taught about my condition in school the way I was taught about other subjects — my journey could have looked very different,” she continues writing.
Mental Health 101 is the education Gomez wished she’d had in school but is now dedicated to providing for others. The initiative, which coincides with May being Mental Health Awareness Month, is “dedicated to supporting mental health education and encouraging financial support for more mental health services in educational services,” according to her follow-up Instagram post. The set of slides — which starts off by listing mental health as its own school subject next to math, science, history and P.E. — contain shocking statistics about mental health, a petition calling on the philanthropy community to support mental health services in schools, and a fundraiser for the Rare Impact Fund that she launched on her 28th birthday last July.
The original plan for the Rare Impact Fund is to raise $100 million over the next 10 years to provide mental health services to underserved communities, with 1% of annual sales on Rare Beauty products in addition to funds raised benefiting the fund. Once Gomez reaches this goal, the Rare Impact Fund will become one of the largest known funds supporting mental health from a corporate entity. Now she’s zeroed in on distributing the money to organizations that have “created evidence-based programs that address social and emotional learning in schools, strengthen youth support networks through mental health trainings, and provide more suicide prevention and crisis response in educational settings ranging from K-college,” according to the GoFundMe page. On her second IG post, Gomez wrote that Rare Beauty will be matching $200,000 of donations.
Last summer, Rare Beauty also created the Rare Beauty Mental Health Council, which brings mental health experts from universities, organizations and companies together to guide the company’s strategy. Members of the Rare Beauty Mental Health Council include Permission to Feel author Dr. Marc Brackett of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence; Dr. Scott L. Rauch of McLean Hospital; Dr. Jane Delgado of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health; Sad Girls Club CEO/founder Elyse Fox; NAMI National Director of Strategic Partnerships Katrina Gay; singer-songwriter Justin Tranter; The Cut Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner; The Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin; Sephora Vice President of Merchandising, Makeup Jennifer Cohen; and YouTube‘s Global Social Impact Marketing Director Kit Hayes.
“For anyone who is hurting right now, I hope you know that you are not alone. I’m a believer in seeking help. Getting support and educating myself on mental health has changed my life, and it can change yours, too,” her note concludes. “I hope that Mental Health 101 will be the stepping stones for others that I wish I had… to get connected to the resources they need, and to empower young people in ways that may not have been possible before.”