Mental illness. Most people who don’t suffer from it or know somebody close to them who has it, don’t realize how prevalent this problem is. I know because I am one of those people. I didn’t understand how widespread mental illness is in this country. Did you know that 1 in 5 American will experience mental illness in a given year, and 1 in 5 youths will have mental illness sometime in the life? And half of all chronic mental illness occurs by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24. If left untreated, more than 90% of children of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition. Sadly, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in this country.
But the Hollywood community is rallying together to create awareness about this issue, and one of those who is leading the fight is Natasha Bedingfield. I had the opportunity to catch up with this lovely lady at the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) #StigmaFree luncheon at The District by Hannah An recently. Natasha has partnered up with beauty brand philosophy on their hope & grace initiative, in which 1% of product sales goes to community-based mental health initiatives. And Bedingfield was so happy to collaborate on this, she wrote a song called “Hope” for the occasion.
Also in attendance was Rich Kids of Beverly Hills star Morgan Stewart, who also hosted the event. She told the story of how she had to cope as a young teenager with her older brother who had schizophrenia. Her cast mates EJ Johnson, Johnny Drubel and fiancé Brendan Fitzpatrick were there to support her and to shine a spotlight on the cause. And hottie Colin Eggesfield was on hand to support and mentioned that he is producing a movie about mental health issues. Click here to learn more about NAMI and how you can help.