Lady Gaga is known for a lot of things. Born Stefani Germanotta, Lady Gaga is a singer, songwriter and actress who has been topping charts for years and most recently has received critical acclaim for her lead role in “A Star is Born.” Although predominantly a performer, she is also known for her advocacy work when it comes to mental health, sexual assault and chronic pain.
In 2012, Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, started the Born This Way Foundation, a project with the aim of “creating a kinder and braver world.” Specifically, the Born This Way Foundation helps achieve this goal by creating initiatives informed by and directed toward young people.
It has now been 7 years since the Born This Way Foundation was created, and to celebrate, they are launching a groundbreaking mental health first aid program that will be offered to high schoolers.
According to the BTWF Facebook page, they are “teaming up with the National Council for Behavioral Health to launch teen Mental Health First Aid in the United States. This evidence-based program will be the first in the country to provide Mental Health First Aid training to high-schoolers in grades 10 through 12, giving young people the hands-on preparation they need to support peers who are struggling with issues like anxiety, depression, substance use, or eating disorders.”
The pilot project for this initiative will be launched in 8 schools across the U.S.A. this spring, and will be followed by an expansion to more schools in the fall.
The foundation is currently fundraising in an attempt to roll out this program to as many schools as possible. Helping provide kids with the information and tools they need to help other kids in crisis is a particularly novel yet practical idea.
The teen years can be an especially hard phase of life. There are so many pressures and emotions, and often teenagers may be afraid or unwilling to open up to the adults in their lives. For this reason, a program that will help teens support each other peer-to-peer is a fantastic idea.
Mental health first aid is an incredibly useful tool for people to learn to recognize the signs of mental health issues and substance abuse, and can be invaluable for informing people about how to help support someone experiencing a mental health crisis.
If you are interested in donating to this cause or spreading awareness for this initiative, the Born This Way Foundation has set up a donation page on Facebook that can be accessed here.