After years of hidden struggle and eventual victory over self-harm and drug abuse, singer Demi Lovato is calling attention to mental illness, according to a post from Variety magazine. As the executive producer of a new documentary, “Beyond Silence,” Lovato follows the stories of three different people who live with different forms of mental illness.

Early Success

Demi Lovato began her rise to fame in 2008, when at age 16 she got a role in a Disney Channel teen movie. Her role placed her opposite the Jonas Brothers, teen heartthrobs who were part of a sibling singing group. Soon afterward, Lovato toured with the Jonas Brothers and released her first album.

Hidden Struggles

Unfortunately, Lovato was hiding a sad truth— her success was marred by bipolar disorder, depression, self-harm, and drug abuse. Once the problem came to light, her recovery took years; and although the drugs and self-harm are in the past, she still lives with mental illness every day.

Spotlight on Mental Health

After her recovery, Lovato was eager to shed light on mental illness and encourage others to be vocal about their experiences. Serving as executive producer and working alongside filmmaker Shaul Schwarz, she gained input from five different mental health organisations. Through those groups, Lovato found three individuals who were willing to unveil their stories in her documentary film. Lloyd Hale, Jeff Fink, and Lauren Burke participated, sharing their struggles with anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression.

Goals of the Documentary

For Lovato, the purpose of the film was to raise awareness about mental health, educate people, and stimulate conversation about the topic. “I hope that this film will show people that there is nothing wrong with having a mental health condition,” she explains. “There’s something about when you speak out and are vocal about your story, it’s very inviting to others who are dealing with the same thing. And if you can make that impact on somebody’s life, it does something for you spiritually that makes you want to tell the story again and again and again.”

Empathy and Understanding

Documentaries like Demi Lovato’s film are one way to reduce the stigma faced by people with mental illness in Singapore, in the United States, and in all nations. People have the opportunity to see how mentally ill people are different, and how they are alike. Viewers learn to understand the conditions better and discover a greater empathy towards those with mental illness. Lovato says, “It’s very important we create conversations, we take away the stigma, and that we stand up for ourselves if we’re dealing with the symptoms of a mental illness.”

If there is someone suffering from mental illness in your life, remember that it is possible for that person to thrive despite the condition. Contact Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, a respected mental health clinic in Singapore that provides care from top Singapore psychiatrists and psychologists. In a comfortable, welcoming environment, with expert care from our team, your loved one can discover how to live well in spite of mental health issues.

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Source: Variety, 22 February 2017