“Ive never told anyone that before. So here we are…I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself.”
Lady Gaga is probably best known for one of three things: her incredibly out-there style (need I remind you of the meat dress she wore to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards?), her bold vocals and, easily enough, her name.
On Sunday, she graced us with one of the greatest halftime performancesthis country has seen in a while, and she did it with whole-hearted class, grace and dignity.
But before she was swooping in from the roof of NRG Stadium, and giving us all the feels with her shout out to mom and dad, Gaga made a quiet trip to visit homeless and displaced youth in New York City.
Lady Gagaproved shes just like the rest of us in a recent visit to the Ali Forney Center in New York City. It was during her time there that the 30-year-old songstress opened up about her long history with mental illness.
She shared one of her deepest secrets with the homeless kids who call the shelter home.
I have a mental illness and I struggle with that mental illness every day. My own trauma in my own life has helped me to understand the trauma of others.
Gaga has opened up before about being raped at 19 years old. It took her seven years to tell anyone about the experience, but once she did, she became an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual assault and violence.Although, the ramifications have caused her mental health to suffer.
I told the kids today, I suffer from PTSD. Ive never told anyone that before. So here we are.
Its no secret that Gagas own trauma is the fuel behind some of her greatest hits. Her Oscar-nominated song Til It Happens to You details the harrowing experience of what its like to be sexually assaulted.
Gaga says its the kindness shes been shown by others that helped her through some of her darkest days.
The kindness thats shown to me by doctors as well as my family, and my friends, its really saved my life.
This comes after the singer recently admitted that fame doesnt make people happy. She hopes her new album will remind people of whats really important.
In the richest homes I meet the saddest and most depressed people. With this album I wanted to remind the whole world and my fans that the most important things are love and kindness. Kindness is what will create harmony, not celebrity and not fame. Money has been put on a pedestal, beauty has been put on a pedestal, celebrity has been put on a pedestal. I have traveled the world and seen the happiest people in the poorest parts of the world.
Prince Harry knows a thing or two about being a veteran.
He actually just retired from a 10-year full-time military career earlier this year. And it was no publicity stunt. Harry served two combat tours in Afghanistan with the Army Air Corps, and he was even promoted to the rank of captain.
In other words, he can walk the walk.
And he recently showed his support for fellow veterans at Walking with the Wounded’s Walk of Britain.
But he wasn’t there just to cruise around with his slick backpack and his awesome fiery beard.
He was there to get the world talking about mental health.
Walking with the Wounded organizes events every year where a small team of veterans tackles an enormous physical challenge.
Over the past three years, teams of wounded warriors have trekked to both the North Pole and the South Pole, and even climbed portions of Mount Everest, in order to raise funds for injured veterans.
This year, though, they brought the event back home to Britain.
Prince Harry joined a team of six American and British veterans for a portion of their 1,000-mile hike.
The team started in Scotland on Aug. 22 and is set to finish at Buckingham Palace on Nov. 1 a distance of over 1,000 miles.
Along the way, Harry met some pretty amazing people.
Like Stewart Hill, who suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Afghanistan. Also on the team of vets is Scott Ransley, who was blinded in his right eye after an explosion from an improvised bomb; Kristie Ennis, whose helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, causing her numerous injuries; Alec Robotham, who suffered severe trauma to his legs and other body parts after a suicide bomb attempt; Matt Fisher, who lost his left leg due to a gunshot wound; and Andrew Bement, who struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, in part due a brain injury of his own.
Their wounds run the gamut, from the physical to the emotional. But all of them run deep.
People turned out in droves to support the veterans on their journey. And, of course, to get a glimpse of the Prince.
He even tossed around the football with NFL legend Dan Marino, who was also there to show his support.
Not bad for a Brit!
But this wasn’t just a photo op for Prince Harry. He had an important message to relay about post-combat mental illness.
“It’s a sensitive subject,” he said. “But … we need to talk about it more. Get rid of the stigma.”
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 11%-20% of modern war veterans suffer from some form of PTSD, which can result in disturbing flashbacks, hopelessness, memory problems, trouble sleeping, and it can severely affect relationships with loved ones. It can even be a leading factor in a high number of suicides.
The resources are in place for veterans who need help with these issues, Harry says. They just need to know it’s OK to ask for them.
Prince Harry doesn’t want us to forget … just because we can’t see PTSD or depression doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
And just because a veteran suffers from mental illness, it doesn’t mean they’re not mentally strong.
This six-person team’s going to prove that to the world when they cross the finish line at Buckingham Palace, after 1,000 hard-earned miles.