Stopping The Stigma

May is CVLUX Magazine’s Beauty issue, but more importantly, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and there was no better way to discuss the importance of ending the stigma against Mental Health than by meeting up with Zelda Williams, Robin Williams daughter, at the Hope and Grace Initiative Luncheon.

Zelda, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight in 2015, talked about her late father, Robin Williams, but she also spoke about the importance of talking about mental health issues and how to deal with them. “Her father was vocal in both his comedy and his life about his battle with depression and addiction, and Zelda says that it was important for him to speak out about his struggles,” Entertainment Tonight said.

Now Zelda is partnering up with Philosophy Skin Care’s Hope and Grace Initiative to further discuss the stigma on mental health, and how we can combat that stigma. The Hope and Grace Initiative represents an unprecedented and unending commitment by Philosophy Skin Care to support mental health and well-being. Mental health issues are one of the greatest challenges women face. More than 450 million people worldwide suffer from mild to serious mental health issues—such as post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, self–esteem and financial stress—all of which disproportionately affect women around the world, and one in five people live with mental issues, Philosophy says. The Initiative gives 1% of all Philosophy USA net product sales to support community-based mental health efforts.

Every May for the past three years now, Philosophy Skin Care lights the Empire State Building with green lights to kick off Mental Health Month. This year their initiative Public Speaking Announcement is focused on “how are you?” This daily conversational question is the first step to start a bigger discussion. Philosophy’s Hope and Grace Initiative believe that in asking, “how are you?” and meaning it, lives can be changed. All it takes is one small act of grace. Zelda Williams once said, “Healing starts with healing your mind. Those who suffer should seek help. Mental illness is often misunderstood and misrepresented, but that’s starting to change.”

CVLUX caught up with Zelda Williams at the Hope and Grace Initiative Luncheon last May and found out ways one can break the stigma. This proactive young director told us, “First, know the facts of mental illness; educate yourself about mental health problems. It is important to be aware of your attitudes and behavior. Stigma can be prejudices and judging, which further hurt their mental wellbeing.”

Zelda Williams is the perfect reflection of a mental health advocate. After losing her father to mental illness, she promised to speak out and help others in need. We must all remember to choose words carefully, educate others, focus on the positive, and support people. By doing this, we all can make the world a better place.