World Mental Health Day: Taking the first steps

It's okay not to be OK
World Mental Health Day
Photo credit Getty Images
By , Audacy

World Mental Health Day is here and with the help of Audacy's I’m Listening initiative we are reminding you that talk has the power to save lives and access to mental health resources will always be crucial to making our world a better place.

It is always okay to ask for help. During this year’s I’m Listening broadcast so many incredible artists reminded us that they too have asked for help and shared that it is ok not to be ok.

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Noting how she uses her online platforms to be upfront about her body and her beliefs, Lizzo told a personal anecdote during the broadcast, saying, “I’m always vulnerable on my social media….fat didn’t bother me but there was some really harmful language being used to describe me, from people in my community and that is actually what triggered me and offended me.”

The "Rumors” artist continued, “I didn’t want to address it and I didn’t want to make that the headline.”

“But I want to let people know like even when you have dropped the number one song in the world and everything looks like it should be going great, you’re still allowed to have emotions and your emotions are valid.”

In case you missed these conversations, check out our full podcast of the 2021 I’m Listening special above.

Lil Nas X has utilized his debut album to cover topics of loneliness and understanding his own sexual identity. Acknowledging that mental health ebbs and flows, the Montero rapper shared, “Down times come with life no matter where you are, no matter which place you get to, and it’s just a part of life. I try to make sure I keep that balance of giving myself time to be free…”

Looking to share tips about stress management, Doja Cat expanded on some of her own remedies. “My way of handling stress is honestly, making a little pillow space on the ground and gaming.”

“Also remembering that… I’m in the present and trying not to think too hard about the future, and trying not to dwell too hard on the past,” notes the Planet Her songstress.

Carly Pearce discussed how her own mental health trials and tribulations allowed her to realize that she can inspire fans to simply be okay within themselves.

“My duty is to just be a human being,” says the Country star. She added, “If that inspires somebody or makes somebody want to look at me as a role model, then that’s amazing, but at the end of the day I’m just like everybody else, I just have a microphone.”

Finally, Billie Eilish concluded our 2021 broadcast, discussing the mental health meaning behind her sophomore album, Happier Than Ever. The artist told us, “I just felt like it encapsulated the last few years of my life really well in a way that I thought fans would understand.”

The “Your Power” songbird explained, “I feel that when I was coming up and getting bigger, I was actually very depressed and over time….my mental state just kind of like rose and got so much better.”

Eilish wraps up by pondering, “What is happy? I feel like I spent a lot of time thinking about happiness and the word 'happiness,' and how it fluctuates… Happier Than Ever doesn’t mean 'happier' than you’re ever going to be, it means 'happier' than you were before.”

This year, I’m Listening has partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to further support mental health initiatives and provide expert medical health access as we continue to navigate maintaining the intersection of mental and physical health in the age of COVID-19.

Today on World Mental Health Day, here is a list of further mental health resources. You are not alone.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL)
Phone: 1-800-273-8255
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This free and confidential service will provide crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Their website also offers a live chat for anyone in need.

Crisis Text Line (741-741)
TEXT: TALK to 741-741
The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, and it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their trained Crisis Counselors are available for coping with any painful emotion for which you need support.

Ways to take care of yourself and others while we do our part to stop the spread of the virus.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention raises awareness, funds research, and provides support and resources to those affected by suicide.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
For information on the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of anxiety and depression.

Concussion Legacy Foundation
Concussion and CTE Resources

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
For information online or in-person support for those with bipolar disorder and depression.

My3 App
Define your network and your plan to stay safe.

National Eating Disorders Association

Now Matters Now
Now Matters Now provides skills and support for coping with suicidal thoughts.

Psychology Today
Provides a national directory of therapists, psychiatrists, group therapy, and other options.

National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Seize The Awkward
Provides tips and tools to help young adults reach out to their friends about their mental health.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Provides referrals to mental health care, substance abuse, and dual diagnosis treatment at a low cost/sliding scale.

Online, on-demand digital therapy.

The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project provides confidential support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Their phone hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Trans Lifeline
Trans Lifeline is a trans-led organization that connects trans people to the community, support, and resources they need to survive and thrive.

Connect to mental health resources in your community.

Veteran’s Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255 | TEXT: 838255
The Veterans Crisis Line is available for veterans in crisis and their families and friends who are in need of support. Their hotline, text message service, and online chat are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide confidential support to those facing a crisis.

Above all, help is available. If there is any question as to who can help start the process, your primary care physician is available to answer questions and provide referrals.

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