TWICE have shared how they have come to open up to fans about their struggles with mental health throughout their career.
In a cover story interview with NME ahead of their comeback EP ‘Between 1&2’, the nine-member group shared how they decided to open up about their mental health in recent years. TWICE members Mina and Jeongyeon have previously pulled out of the group’s activities on separate occasions – the former in 2019 and the latter in 2020 and 2021 – due to their struggles with anxiety.
While K-pop agencies are traditionally not forthcoming on the mental health of idols, JYP Entertainment addressed both Mina and Jeongyeon’s conditions openly in its announcements regarding their breaks.
“We work so much. Because of that, I think the realisation that not only bodily health but mental health is also important – it just kind of came naturally to us,” Nayeon, TWICE’s eldest member, told NME.
TWICE were initially hesitant to speak about their struggles with mental health in the public eye, she added, especially because they interface with their fans often: “We release a lot of albums in a very short amount of time. And in the process, we also communicate with our fans a lot. It is kind of inevitable [we’d] conceal what’s happening to us individually.”
“Before, there was a time when we thought that it was better not to talk about it,” confessed Nayeon. “But now we don’t think that. We think it’s much better to be open and honest about what’s happening to us.”
She also added that the group’s honesty was a result of TWICE’s desire to be candid with their fans, rather than a show of strength. “I don’t want to say that we are honest because we are strong,” revealed Nayeon. “It comes from our conscious decision to be close with ONCE, to be honest with them.”
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Elsewhere in the interview, leader and main vocalist Jihyo spoke about the meaning behind their new mini-album ‘Between 1&2’, which dropped last Friday with title track ‘Talk That Talk’. “This album is about our relationship with our fans,” she told NME.
“If we released this album in the beginning of our years, it probably [wouldn’t have] sounded as true because there was no relationship. I mean, there was, but it was not as sincere and deep as it is now.”
“Over seven years, our relationship really deepened – it’s become very sincere and we have a great feeling of solidarity,” shared Jihyo.