“We can no longer afford to be silenced”: Lady Gaga pens emotional mental health essay

"By the time you finish reading this, at least six people will have killed themselves around the world."

Lady Gaga has penned an emotional essay about the urgent need for more mental health services across the globe – as well as calling for the stigma surrounding mental illness to end.

Writing in The Guardian alongside the World Health Organisation’s Dr Tedros Adhanom, the singer said: “By the time you finish reading this, at least six people will have killed themselves around the world.

“Those six are a tiny fraction of the 800,000 people who will kill themselves this year – more than the population of Washington DC, Oslo or Cape Town.

“Sometimes they are famous names such as Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade that make headlines, but they are all sons or daughters, friends or colleagues, valued members of families and communities.”

Lady Gaga Joanne

Lady Gaga

Addressing the need to break down stigmas, the pair wrote: “”We struggle to talk about it openly or to offer adequate care or resources. Within families and communities, we often remain silenced by a shame that tells us that those with mental illness are somehow less worthy or at fault for their own suffering.

“Instead of treating those facing mental health conditions with the compassion we would offer to someone with a physical injury or illness, we ostracize, blame and condemn. In too many places support services are non-existent and those with treatable conditions are criminalized – literally chained up in inhumane conditions, cut off from the rest of society without hope.”

She added: “We can no longer afford to be silenced by stigma or stymied by misguided ideas that portray these conditions as a matter of weakness or moral failing. “

Gaga has previously been outspoken about her mental health battles in the past. Earlier this year, she was forced to cancel the remaining dates on her ‘Joanne’ world tour due to her continued battle with fibromyalgia.

In 2016, she also penned an emotional open letter that directly tackled her battles with PTSD.

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