In anticipation of her Tell Me You Love Me Tour, Demi Lovato announced on Good Morning America that she will be offering free mental health sessions along with each performance. Lovato, a co-owner and “alumnus” of CAST Centers, a program dedicated to mental health and wellness, will be working with the foundation to provide group therapy sessions and motivational speakers before the performance on each tour date.
Lovato has struggled with mental health and addiction in the past, and provided similar mental health services on her Future Now tour with Nick Jonas in 2016.
“I actually have bipolar disorder, and I’m very open about that, because I think that mental health affects so many people and we need to take the stigma away from it,” Lovato said on Good Morning America.
The sessions are free to concert goers, so long as they register online ahead of time, according to CAST Centers founder and CEO Mike Bayer. In addition to the services provided with the concerts, Lovato will be raising money for local mental health related charities during each show.
“Demi and I, we believe mental health should be mainstream,” Bayer said on Good Morning America. “It should be just as cool as going to the gym, like working on yourself.”
Lovato is not the only celebrity to provide inspiring messages surrounding mental health and wellness in her music. Resident Assistant and eighth semester math education major Emily Napear pointed to “1-800-273-8255” by Logic, featuring Alessia Cara as another song that helps remove stigma and start conversations.
“I think they’re helpful because it brings light to something a lot of people struggle with in the dark,” Napear said.
Fourth semester economics major and Demi Lovato fan Michael Crudele also pointed to Logic’s song as a good example positive mental health sentiments in pop culture, but he feels people should take care when addressing the subject.
“I feel like there are right ways and wrong ways to bring up the topic of mental health and suicide,” Crudele said. Selena Gomez’s production of “13 Reasons Why” was an example he gave of good intentions gone wrong, as the show seemed to glorify suicide.
As a fan, Crudele is also concerned the sessions may not be utilized the right way.
“I do think that providing mental health services to her fans on her next tour is an incredible gesture and I think it is quite extraordinary for her to do this,” Crudele said. “But I am still skeptical on how effective it will be for the fans who truly need it because I feel that every fan is going to want to participate.”
Despite concerns, since her own experience in a CAST Center in 2011 Lovato has become an activist and role model for self-care and mental health, and offering these sessions is just another way she supports the mental health community.
“It’s important that people have somebody to look up to,” Lovato said in an interview with Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington in October. “Especially younger people that are going through things that they can’t really explain or feel like anyone understands. I want to be that for them.”
Alex Houdeshell is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.