Billy Porter, Demi Moore and More Celebrities Join Campaign to End Mental Health Discrimination
"It’s time to end discrimination in mental health," Demi Moore said at the Well Beings virtual town hall event Tuesday
On Tuesday, the celebrities participated in the Well Beings virtual town hall — hosted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and WETA, the PBS station in Washington D.C. — to help launch a campaign targeting the youth mental health crisis.
"Access to mental health services in our country is already plagued by structural inequality," Porter said in a recap clip, exclusive to PEOPLE. "Now, it has been exacerbated by a pandemic and brought into sharp focus, yet again, due to the killing of George Floyd and subsequent protests against racial injustice and police brutality."
"This is contributing to a sharp increase in anxiety, depression, and challenges to the mental health and well being of young people," Moore added. "Mental health experts are predicting a rise in rates of addiction and suicide as a result to the global crisis. It’s time to end discrimination in mental health."
Gad then chimed in with some words of encouragement to anyone experiencing struggles with their mental health.
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"Imagination and invention have brought us through some of the toughest times in life. It’s the talent of youth to imagine, to believe in yourself, all that you are and all that you know," the Frozen star said. "Remember, there is something inside of you that is greater than any obstacle. Everyone has a story to tell. And when you share that story, we understand your experiences and we are all better because of it."
The virtual town hall also featured appearances from Kid Cudi, Ariel Winter and Sean Astin — who all gave remarks about their battles with mental illness.
To continue the discussion surrounding mental health, WETA and their Well Beings initiative is encouraging the public to participate in their "We Are Well Beings Story Wall," which is a digital space for people to share personal reflections in the form of videos, photos and short stories about their own experiences.
The hope is to foster a community of hope, support and understanding that will help de-stigmatize mental illness.
To participate in the Story Wall, use "#WellBeings" when sharing your experiences, words of encouragement or favorite mental health resources on social media.
For more information, head to wellbeings.org.