Back in October, Dr. Marc Brackett, of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, joined together with Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation to create the Emotion Revolution Summit.
Brackett, the director of the center, surveyed over 22,000 high school students and determined that they are not happy. Many are stressed, tired, and incredibly apathetic. And this isn't just affecting high schoolers. The annual report from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State University shows that there's a "slow but consistent" growth in students suffering from depression and anxiety and "that college students are reporting increasing levels of distress."
Out of this, the Emotion Revolution Summit was born. The daylong event featured panels, workshops, and lectures all tailored towards raising awareness for the mental and emotional health of young people. A big problem in our society is that mental health is taboo. No one wants to talk about the legitimate hardships that people face while trying to deal with mental illness. Many are quick to shun the kids with anxiety because they're "overreacting". Some even believe that depression and anxiety are over-diagnosed. But this only worsens the problem.
Lady Gaga, formally known as Stefanie Germanotta, spoke to over 200 students at the Summit to remind them that they are not alone. Stefanie "invented Lady Gaga, [she] curated her life to be an expression of [her] pain." At a point, she couldn't mask her feelings in her musical alter-ego. In the video below she highlights the moment she found herself again. She realized that even if all of her fans accepted her, she had to accept herself.
Dr. Brackett and Lady Gaga's revolution is important because it actively strives to change the stigma surrounding depression and anxiety. Mental illness is a part of each person who suffers from it, but it is not all they have to offer. If it was, J.K. Rowling would have never published "Harry Potter" and Robin Williams wouldn't have been able to make the world laugh.
Personal acceptance is vital to the success of mental and emotional health awareness. Remember, I am more than my mental illness. I am not a stereotype. I have suffered and I have overcome. I am human, and I will be OK.
Know that if you are not alone. If you, or someone you know, needs help, please call:
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 1-800-273-8255