Selena Gomez is hoping to make mental health care more accessible with her new mental wellness company, Wondermind
More and more celebrities are opening up about their mental health diagnoses and how such issues impact their lives. These reports are refreshing as they help to normalize mental health struggles, as well as provide some insight into behaviors that fans may have been critical of. Selena Gomez revealed in 2020 that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Gomez is no stranger to opening up about health concerns. She publicly discussed her lupus diagnosis and her best friend donating a kidney when she was in need of a kidney transplant. Even on her cooking show, Selena + Chef, she explains that her hands are weak from lupus as she asks for her father to come help squeeze a fruit for her.
Given Selena’s openness about her physical struggles, it seems right in line for her to also discuss her mental health problems. In previous interviews she said getting her bipolar diagnosis a few years ago was freeing and since her diagnosis she’s happier than ever, but Gomez is taking her diagnosis one step further. She has a mission to make mental health resources free, so she co-founded Wondermind with her mother, Mandy Teefey, and Daniella Pierson. The trio went on Good Morning America to talk about their company and dive into their mental health.
The purpose of Wondermind isn't to provide mental health care, but to provide mental health information to promote mental wellness and “mental fitness.” The multimedia company features information from vetted professionals for people that may not be able to afford traditional therapy. It was important for Gomez to create a company that would be accessible to everyone who may need it and would have benefitted her in her early days on her mental health journey. She told GMA that it’s "unfortunate that [mental health resources] cost ridiculous amounts of money." She added "But [like with] Planned Parenthood, there's a place for women to feel okay and to feel understood, and I want that for mental health. I think it's so important and I can't stress it enough how much I care and how much I really, really want people to be understood, seen and heard."
Gomez admitted that she knew she was struggling with mental health issues for years, but recently she has taken the time to figure out what was going on with the help of her mom and mental health professionals. Teefey, Gomez's mother, discussed her own diagnosis with ADHD and trauma, and how she and her daughter had to relearn how to communicate with each other in a way that was most helpful for their relationship. Social media also played a significant role in Gomez's mental health, which is why she has not been online in 4.5 years, though she is one of the most followed people in the world with 310 million followers on Instagram alone. She relies heavily on her team to produce content for her social media accounts with her approval, but she does not log in herself. Gomez told GMA that this change has had a huge impact on her life, saying, “It has changed my life completely. I am happier, I am more present, I connect more with people. It makes me feel normal.”
Because she has dealt with mental health struggles and understands what would have been most helpful to her in the beginning of the process, she has an opportunity to elevate her company Wondermind above other mental health resources out there. Gomez’s openness about her mental health may also help demystify more serious mental health conditions and allow people to feel more comfortable seeking help.
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