Kendall Jenner is teaming up with Kenneth Cole to kick off a new mental health coalition aimed at destigmatizing mental health issues in America.
Jenner and Cole launched the campaign on Friday's Good Morning America, in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. Dubbed the Mental Health Coalition, the organization brings together mental health resources and service providers in one place.
"When he came to me it was so perfect," Jenner said of Cole. "I struggle with my own mental health issues sometimes myself. So I was very excited. I was so ready to get involved."
Jenner also recalled the first time she felt anxious, back when she was "really, really young."
"I remember feeling like I couldn't breathe and running to my mom and being like, 'Mom, I can't breathe. Something must be wrong,'" she said of her mother, Kris Jenner. "And she, of course, took me to a bunch of doctors, just to make sure I was all OK physically and I was. No one ever told me that I have anxiety."
"Maybe like three, four years ago it came back completely full on and I would have crazy panic attacks. I finally got the information I needed about it," Jenner continued. "Honestly what I hope to accomplish is for people not to feel as alone."
Cole agreed with Jenner that this is the goal of the initiative, calling mental health "a pandemic in and of its own right," referring to the coronavirus outbreak.
"Our goal is if we could figure out how to destigmatize it and ultimately create a safe place for people to address their circumstances and talk about it and ultimately rebrand mental health conditions," he explained. "This is frightening times. Everyone today is trying to make sense of it all. I think we're all trying to put the pieces together."
"If there was a safe place to kind of put it out there and share your thoughts, you'll find so much comfort and you'll get so much from sharing your experiences with others who are on the same journey," he added.
"Mental health is a pandemic in its own right." @kennethcolereal launches the #MentalHealthCoalition with help from @KendallJenner. The initiative brings together mental health resources and service providers in one place. https://t.co/8RNWwZSahr pic.twitter.com/fmEj6xPn6M— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 15, 2020
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How are you, really? I am proud to stand with @kennethcolereal and The Mental Health Coalition, to end the stigma against mental health conditions. It is important, now more than ever, that we come together to promote acceptance and inspire hope. Together, and only together, we can make a difference in millions of lives. Please join me, and share how you are, really. #howareyoureallychallenge @mentalhealthcoalition @howareyoureally i nominate @kimkardashian @justinbieber @haileybieber @jenatkinhair ❤️ tell us how you’re feeling
Cole is the creative force spearheading the Mental Health Coalition, a collaborative effort uniting celebrities, charities, health organizations and social activists and advocates, all coming together to raise awareness and address ongoing public health issues.
Cole says that the coalition, which was established before the coronavirus outbreak, has an even more considerable role to play as the pandemic continues to rage, impacting so many people psychologically, as well as physically.
On behalf of @the_mhcollection I'm answering “How are you, REALLY?” I invite @ariannahuff @chriscuomo @corybooker @michaelstrahan @jack to join me & answer that question. @howareyoureally #howareyoureallychallenge pic.twitter.com/6ShKkNH2cD— Kenneth Cole (@kennethcolereal) May 15, 2020
"We are aligned with the goal of ending the related devastating stigma," Cole added. "I believe that together we can end the stigma, but only together."
The organization has also launched a digital storytelling platform, howareyoureally.org, where people are encouraged to share their personal mental health stories. The initiative will also be teaming up with a number of celebrities, and challenging them to answer honestly the important key question: How are you, really?
Cole and Jenner have already challenged celebs on social media to answer this question, including Jenner's sister, Kim Kardashian West, and Cole's brother-in-law, Chris Cuomo.
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