The Mental Health Coalition is aiming to help fight the stigmas associated with mental health struggles

By Rachel DeSantis
May 15, 2020 09:40 AM
Advertisement
Kesha, Kenneth Cole, Whoopi Goldberg
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty; Michael Loccisano/Getty; Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

A new initiative aimed at fighting the stigmas surrounding mental health launched Friday with Kenneth Cole at the helm, and a team of celebrities like Kesha and Whoopi Goldberg, dozens of mental health organizations, major businesses and political figures beside him.

The Mental Health Coalition is bringing a star-studded roster together to raise awareness and help change the culture surrounding mental health by getting established organizations and programs the resources and funding they need.

Celebrities involved in the campaign include Stanley Tucci, Oliver Platt, Michael Strahan, Cheyenne Jackson, Deepak Chopra, Elizabeth Chambers, Mayim Bialik, Hunter McGrady, Arielle Kebbel and Chris Cuomo, Cole’s brother-in-law.

"I think one of the hardest things is that I can’t protect everyone I love and I can't be in control of them being safe," Kesha tells PEOPLE. "It's super difficult for me, but one thing I've learned is that nothing in life is in my control, so the more I can surrender to that the better I'll be and it's okay to not feel okay sometimes."

Kenneth Cole
Kenneth Cole Productions Inc.

The launch comes as many Americans grapple with increased anxieties amid the coronavirus crisis — and often find themselves struggling to answer honestly when asked, “How are you?”

With that in mind, the Coalition is launching the How Are You Really? initiative, which will encourage stars to safely share their truthful answers, as well as concerns and anxieties, with the world on social media.

RELATED VIDEO: Andrew Garfield Opens Up About Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic

“This is a critical moment in time. The collective consciousness from the pandemic has created an unprecedented urgency to address the crisis now,” Cole said in a statement. "I am proud to bring together a community of the most impactful Mental Health service providers in the country, leading academics, creative, media, and business leaders with the common goal of changing the Mental Health narrative in a way that will empower rather than diminish those individuals living with Mental Health conditions. We are aligned with the goal of ending the related devastating stigma. I believe that together we can end the stigma, but only together.”

Kendall Jenner appeared alongside Cole on Good Morning America Friday to help kick off the challenge, which will also come with HowAreYouReally.org, a digital storytelling platform where individuals can share inspiring stories of their own about how they’ve overcome personal mental health struggles.

The supermodel encouraged her A-list pals to join her on Instagram with videos of their own truthfully answering the question, "How are you really?"

For Kesha, the new initiative is an opportunity to help others realize that talking about mental health battles with others can be beneficial.

"There is no shame in talking about your mental health struggles, so reach out and let people know how you are really feeling," she says. "At least for me, it has been incredibly helpful."

Partner organizations include Child Mind Institute, Crisis Text Line, Mental Health America, The Jed Foundation, The Trevor Project and more.