Sitting in a classroom at just 15 years old, Emma Stone didn’t let her anxiety stop her from making a decision that would change her life — convincing her parents to let her move to Los Angeles to pursue her passion for acting.
Acting, along with therapy, became the primary way that Stone was able to cope and conquer her anxiety. And since garnering fame for her roles in Easy A, La La Land and now The Favourite, Stone has used her own experience to raise awareness for mental health disorders.
Now, the Academy Award-winning actress, 30, plans to continue helping other kids struggling with mental health and learning disorders by joining the Board of Directors at the Child Mind Institute — a nonprofit organization dedicated to doing just that.
“I’m honored to join the board of the Child Mind Institute,” Stone said in a statement to PEOPLE. “This is a stigma-shattering organization I am deeply passionate about, and I’m looking forward to helping the Child Mind Institute continue to advance its critically important work.”
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Stone was previously involved with the organization when she contributed to their #MyYoungerSelf awareness campaign in 2017, when she shared a personal video opening up about her battle with anxiety.
“It’s so normal, everyone experiences a version of anxiety or worry in their lives and maybe we go through it in a different or more intense way, or for longer periods of time, but there’s nothing wrong with you,” Stone shared in the video. “To be a sensitive person that cares a lot that takes kids in in a deeper way is actually part of what makes you amazing.”
She continued, “Don’t ever feel like you’re a weirdo for it because we’re all weirdos.”
The Child Mind Institute is excited to have Stone join their Board of Directors, according to the Institute’s president, Dr. Harold S Koplewicz.
“Emma’s courage in openly discussing her story with anxiety is inspirational,” Dr. Koplewicz said. “It offers hope to millions of kids that it is possible to overcome their own challenges and thrive.”