Demi Lovato is using her voice for something greater than singing.
Prestigious schools around the country are honoring our prized pop stars for their achievements in bettering the world. Harvard named Rihanna the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year for donating money to build a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados.
UCLA is also recognizing a famous face. The Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the university will hold its biannual Open Mind Gala on March 22nd in support of mental health research, education, and clinical care programs. At the event, Demi Lovato will receive the Artistic Award of Courage for "her inspirational leadership, passion, and advocacy in using her platform to heroically speak out about mental health in order to reduce stigma, raise awareness, and help others," according to a statement.
The announcement comes on the heels of Lovato's outspokenness on clearing the stigma attached to mental health "because nobody talks about it."
"When you spread awareness and create conversation, that's when you realize mental health conditions aren't anything out of the norm," she tells Marie Claire. "They're very common. They shouldn't be judged. They should be accepted."
"I live a public life. When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I knew it was something that may or may not get out. But when I was faced with the decision about whether to discuss it, I thought I might as well use my voice for something greater than singing."
Lovato adds she gets frustrated when people misuse the term “bipolar.” "I get frustrated when people use the term 'bipolar' loosely. Like, they say 'Oh, I can't decide what movie to watch, I'm so bipolar.' You don't say, 'I can't decide what movie to watch, I'm so cancer.'"
"Anytime you aren't creating conversation about what mental health really is, you're opening it up to a bunch of negativity. It's important to remember that the vast majority of people living with mental health conditions aren't violent. They're ten times more likely to be the victims of a violent crime."