Demi Lovato Gives Powerful Speech About Mental Illness At DNC

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The Democratic National Convention kicked off this week to much fanfare and controversy. The event is marked by several high-profile and usually bombastic speeches from celebrities and politicians, but one speaker last night opted instead to give tell a more personal story.

Demi Lovato has been open about her struggles with mental illnesses- including bulimia and bipolar disorder – throughout her life. During her speech on the opening night of the DNC, she spoke passionately about how her life has been affected and how politics can prevent many from having access to treatment.

“Like millions of Americans, I am living with mental illness. But I’m lucky. I had the resources and support to get treatment at a top facility,” the singer told the crowd. “Unfortunately, too many Americans from all walks of life don’t get help, either because they fear the stigma or because they can’t afford treatment.”

Lovato frequently uses her music and concerts to raise awareness for mental illness and encourages those who struggle with these issues to seek treatment. However, last night she focused on urging politicians to support laws that would open high-level treatment and healthcare to everyone. “This is not about politics, it is simply the right thing to do,” she said.

““I stand here today as proof that you can live a normal and empowered life with mental illness,” stated Lovato before endorsing Hillary Clinton as the candidate she believes will “fight to ensure all people with mental health conditions get the care they need to live fulfilling lives.”

At highly theatrical political events like this, speakers often tend to avoid talking about stigmatized topics like eating disorders and mental illness. It is refreshing to see a young performer use the platform to challenge those on both sides of the aisle to take mental illness seriously and make access to treatment and rehabilitation a priority.

After her speech, Lovato performed her hit song “Confident” which includes themes of body positivity and encourages young women to take pride in themselves. In a YouTube video posted in 2015, Lovato explained how the song was inspired by her own struggles with body image.

“’You’ve had me underrated’, I wanted to shout that from the top of my lungs for years now. Now that I’m feeling great and I feel confident, I’m proud of the skin that I’m in. I’m wanting to share that with the world and showing everyone how you can go from feeling very insecure with body image issues to feeling proud of your body that you want to show it to the world.”

You can see the full speech and performance below, courtesy of C-SPAN:

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