• Lady Gaga has long been a vocal advocate for mental health in young people. (Getty Images North America)
Lady Gaga is pushing for a teen Mental Health First Aid program to be implemented in every school across the United States.
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

13 Jun 2019 - 9:46 AM  UPDATED 13 Jun 2019 - 9:46 AM

Pop singer and actress Lady Gaga is taking her fight for teen mental health to a new level, joining forces with the National Council for Behavioral Health to expand teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) to an additional 20 high schools across the United States.

The program, a collaboration with Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, "empowers young people to support each other in times of need or crisis."

"Together, Born This Way and the National Council have put this program in eight schools and soon it will be in 20 more," Gaga said in a press release, reports Bustle.

"I know for certain that I'm not stopping here. I want the teen Mental Health First Aid program in every school in this country."

According to the press release, tMHFA is an "in-person training for high school students in grades 10 to 12 to learn about mental illnesses, including how to identify and respond to a developing mental health or substance use problem among their peers."

The training presents students with a five-step action plan around assisting others who may be dealing with mental health issues, as well as the best ways to involve a responsible and trusted adult.

In her foundation's new video, Gaga says: "Sometimes when life gives you a million reasons not to want to stay you need just one person that looks at you, listens to you, helps you get help, and validates how you feel."

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"One of the things about mental illness is that it can be very isolating and by sharing stories you actually get to realise that you're not alone."

Gaga has long been a vocal advocate for mental health in young people. After winning the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance earlier this year, Gaga stated: "If I don't get another chance to say this, I just want to say I'm so proud to be a part of a movie that address mental health issues. They're so important. And a lot of artists ... a lot of artists deal with that."

She continued: "And we gotta take care of each other. So, if you see somebody that's hurting, don't look away. And if you're hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody ... and take them up in your head with you."

When it comes to walking the walk, Gaga sure has it down-pat.

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