On Monday pop star star Demi Lovato announced on Instagram that she would be starting a new charity, called the Mental Health Fund, in order to provide people with free crisis counseling during COVID-19.
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So many have been left alone with their thoughts, their anxieties, their abusers – and are struggling with the uncertainty of these times. That is why I am helping to launch #TheMentalHealthFund to support organizations who are meeting the increased demand in crisis counseling due to COVID-19. You are not alone. Help is fast, free and available 24/7. US: Text SHARE to 741741, UK: Text Shout to 85258, Canada: Text CONNECT to 686868, Ireland: Text SPUNOUT to 086 1800 280 You can also make a donation to bring free crisis counseling to those impacted. Link in story.
The Mental Health Fund aims to raise $5 million for the Crisis Text Line in the United States, as well as other 24/7 crisis counseling options in in the United Kingdom and Canada, NBCLA reports. In just two days, the Mental Health Fund has already received more than $2 million in donations.
“Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. Oftentimes our society tells us that if we ask for help, we are weak,” the performer shared with People Magazine. “But the strongest thing someone can do is take that first step in getting help, whatever shape or form that is.”
CNN reports Lovato has a long history of mental health activism after revealing she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015.
The Harvard Gazette reports that studies have already shown the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significantly negative impact on the public’s mental health. Karestan Koenan, a professor of psychiatric epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, predicts that global rates of depression and anxiety will likely increase due to the outbreak.