Lady Gaga has spoken candidly about her mental health issues, saying she has struggled "for a long time". The singer opened up about the topic while presenting her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, with the Global Changemakers award at Children Mending Hearts' Empathy Rocks fundraiser on Sunday.
The 32-year-old, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, told the audience: "I have struggled for a long time, both being public and not public about my mental health issues or my mental illness. But, I truly believe that secrets keep you sick."
Lady Gaga has spoken out about her mental health struggles
She also encouraged people to speak up and be kind to one another, particularly in light of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain's deaths just a few days earlier, saying empathy can help those who are struggling with mental health issues. "To me, almost every problem you can think of can be solved with kindness. At least it could be made better. Kindness has a soft undertone. Sometimes people think it is weak. It is tremendously powerful," Lady Gaga said. "It can change the way that we view each other. The way that we view our communities and the way that we work. Even the way that we feel about ourselves, by being kinder to ourselves. We need more kindness in the world."
The singer concluded: "Thank you mom for not being afraid of my darkest thoughts and for doing what many don't realise goes very far: just holding my hand and running an organization that helps hold the hands of others and join the hands of others. I love you. Suicidal ideation feels like a spell and we have to have empathy. Be kind and help each other break that spell and live and thrive."
The singer presented her mother with an award at the Children Mending Hearts Empathy Rocks fundraiser
It's not the first time Lady Gaga has touched upon her health issues; the singer has previously spoken about how "psychologically challenging" and "isolating" fame can be, as well as sharing her experiences of fibromyalgia. The Bad Romance singer has suffered with the long-term chronic pain condition for the past few years, and has previously been forced to cancel live shows during intense flare-ups.