MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Pop Star Lady Gaga has been adored by fans for her uniqueness, and the empowering lyrics in her music.
It’s provided a refuge for fans facing personal challenges and now the entertainer’s Born This Way Foundation is leading a conversation on mental health and bringing it to Miami ahead of Gaga’s ‘Joanne World Tour.’
“This is such a personal issue for her. Growing up she was exposed to meanness and cruelty and she not only survived but thrived,” said Maya Enista Smith, Executive Director of the Born This Way Foundation.
The National Alliance for Mental Illness reports 20 percent of youth, ages 13 to 18, live with mental health issues, and 64 percent of youth lack treatment for depression.
Born This Way’s Channel Kindness Tour stopped at American Airlines Arena Wednesday to speak with students from Miami-Dade Public Schools.
“We look at depression. We look at anxiety, some with post-traumatic stress types of disorders and so forth. We have children, yes, who self-injure,” said MDPS psychologist Frank Zenere, who joined the panel discussion.
The tour’s mission is to fight mental illness by encouraging people to be kind, be brave, and give back.
The foundation also revealed new information showing Florida students are on edge.
“Here in Florida, we found that young people are more stressed than the national average and that parents underestimate the stress that their young people are under,” said Smith.
Miami-Dade School officials say struggles with poverty, sexual identity, and other factors can lead to mental health issues. They encourage students to speak up.
“We invest funds in counselors, trust counselors, to provide support services to our kids in addition to outside organizations,” said Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
The Channel Kindness Tour is bringing the same event to other U.S. locations that make up Lady Gaga’s ‘Joanne World Tour.’
Lady Gaga will perform at the American Airlines Arena in Miami Thursday night.
Click here for more info on the foundation.