As the City of Los Angeles kicked off their “Mental Health Is Health Month, “Grammy-winning singer Jhené Aiko was named the campaign’s official ambassador.
An event was held on Friday ceremony at the city hall. Speaking to the crowd, the singer shared her own experiences of battling mental health.
“When I started to write and do music, it was my personal therapy to help me get through things,” said Aiko. “I didn’t know about therapy, I didn’t know a lot about mental illness or depression or anxiety. And I just found that turning my pain and suffering into some form of art, transforming it into art, really helped me get through it. It helped me to realize that the reason why I do what I do is to help others get through what they’re going through.”
She added, “There’s no coincidence that we are on this earth with billions of others and there’s no reason anyone should feel alone in anything that they’re going through. It’s important that we’re there for one another to help each other get through this journey because it can be beautiful.”
Last year, Aiko opened up about her battles with anxiety and depression to her fans after the Grammy Awards ceremony.
“I’ve spent most of my life being extremely sensitive, drained and nervous when around a lot of people and/or multiple energies at once,” she said, referring to her time on stage during Sunday’s ceremony. “I’ve spent most of my life with crippling insecurity… feeling awkward and shy in front of cameras and audiences. I’ve spent most of my life not understanding that my anxiety was causing a downward spiral, self medicating and self sabotage.”
The CDC reports that African-American women are 4% more likely to have symptoms of major depressive disorder MDD than whites and are less likely to report it or seek treatment.