Selena Gomez joined First Lady Dr. Jill Biden for a mental health forum at the White House. The 29-year-old singer graced the invitation to sit down with Dr. Biden, politicians, activists, and mental health advocates for the “Mental Health is Health” initiative on Wednesday, the country’s first mental health youth action forum spearheaded by MTV Entertainment and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

During the discussion, Gomez opened up about her mental health struggles since she was diagnosed with lupus in 2014. The singer, who had been previously diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression, revealed she was hospitalized in 2018 following an emotional breakdown and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years later.

“Mental health is very personal for me, and I hope that by using my platform to share my own story, I can help others feel less alone and find the help that they need, which is honestly all I want,” she said.

The singer also talked about the importance of sharing her mental health journey to her healing process, she said, “I heard a phrase recently that I really like. ‘That which is mentionable becomes manageable.’”

“Just to throw in a little bit of my journey, I felt like once I found out what was going on mentally, I found that there was more freedom for me to be okay with what I had, because I was learning about it by bringing attention to mental health through the media. Just by talking about your own journey can help [sic]. It sets the example that it’s a topic that can and should be discussed freely, and without shame,” she added.

For her part, Dr. Biden pointed to the ways COVID-19 has exacerbated the mental health and loneliness of the youth. “We’re recovering every single day but recovery isn’t always the same as healing,” she said. “And sometimes the darkness is inside of us too.”

Dr. Biden pointed out that while mental health struggles are often unseen, the youth shouldn't have to face them without help. “Isolation, anxiety, and grief are wounds that sometimes go unseen, too often cloaked in secrecy and shame,” she said. “But young people don’t have to face these challenges alone.”

The forum was held a day before the Mental Health Action Day on May 19.

Selena Gomez
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 15: Selena Gomez attends the photocall for "The Dead Don't Die" during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images) Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images