Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, are getting candid about mental health.
During a ticketed, virtual event for their book “Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community” on Tuesday night, the pop star and her mom addressed a question from an attendee who asked for advice on opening up about mental health to parents.
According to Germanotta, many young people resist talking about mental health with their parents because parents don’t often share their own struggles with their children.
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“I know that I have made mistakes,” Germanotta continued. “We as parents think we have to be really tough and strong and keep ourselves together all the time, but I didn’t share my struggles with my children. And I think that precludes a lot of young people from sharing with their parents.”
Germanotta, who is mother to both Gaga and fashion designer Natali Germanotta, also said it’s important that parents not make their children feel judged when they open up.
“I’ve learned from both of my daughters that listening, but also understanding and validating their emotions without judgement, is very, very important,” she said.
Gaga thanked her mother for her honesty and gave her own advice, noting that not everyone has parents who are receptive to conversations about mental health.
“I think that it’s actually interesting to subvert that question a little bit,” she said, adding that “some people can’t tell their parents.”
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“I feel the need to say this, because it’s real, and it’s true, and some people don’t have parents that can hear what you’re saying,” she continued. “They don’t have parents that are willing to listen, and some people don’t have parents at all.”
For those who, for whatever reason, cannot talk to their parents about mental health, Gaga recommends starting a conversation with people in their community.
“I encourage them to celebrate their stories by sharing it with each other and creating a community, creating a culture around you, where you can say, ‘Hey, this is what I’m going through. What have you been through?’ ” she said. “Role-modeling can actually happen between us. I don’t believe that it’s only our parents that role-model for us. I believe it’s also our friends.”
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According to Gaga, the concept of building a community around stories is at the heart of her book, out Tuesday, which is a collection of 51 inspirational true stories from young people.
“These are young people coming together as a family, as a global community, and saying, ‘We can be kind together,’ ” she continued. “That’s why this book matters so much to me. That’s why this (Born This Way) Foundation matters so much to me. … You can be your own family, and you can create your own family.”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lady Gaga and her mother offer candid advice for opening up about mental health to parents
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.