Emma Stone Is Doing Her Part To Shatter Mental Health Stigma

By Kelly Burch 02/07/19

The actress has joined the board of an organization dedicated to helping children with mental health and learning disorders.

Emma Stone

Actress Emma Stone, who has spoken publicly about her struggles with anxiety, has joined the board of directors at The Child Mind Institute, a non-profit organization that supports children with learning and mental health disorders. 

“I’m honored to join the board of The Child Mind Institute. This is a stigma-shattering organization I am deeply passionate about, and I’m looking forward to helping the Child Mind Institute continue to advance its critically important work,” Stone, 30, said in a statement to People.

Stone has dealt with anxiety since she was a teenager, but has said that acting—and therapy—have helped keep her anxiety under control. She works to let others, especially young people, know that they can have a fulfilling life despite anxiety. 

“Emma’s courage in openly discussing her story with anxiety is inspirational,” said Dr. Harold S Koplewicz, president of The Child Mind Institute. “It offers hope to millions of kids that it is possible to overcome their own challenges and thrive.”

In 2017, Stone recorded a video as part of the institute’s awareness campaign that asked people to share what they would like to tell their younger selves. 

“What I could tell kids who are going through anxiety, which I have, is that you’re so normal it’s crazy,” she said. “It’s so normal, everyone experiences a version of anxiety or worry in their lives and maybe we go through it in a different or more intense way, or for longer periods of time, but there’s nothing wrong with you.”

Stone talked about the often overlooked flip-side to anxiety.  

“To be a sensitive person that cares a lot, that takes things in in a deeper way, is actually part of what makes you amazing and is one of the greatest gifts in life: you think a lot, you feel a lot, and it’s the best,” Stone said. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world even when there are really hard times.”

She said that over time, she has learned how to manage her anxiety and what things are likely to set it off.  

“There are so many tools you can use to help yourself in those [bad] times, and it does get better and easier as life goes on and you get to know yourself more and what will trigger certain instances of anxiety, and where you feel comfortable and safe.” 

Overall, experiencing anxiety is very common, she said. 

“Don’t ever feel like you’re a weirdo for it because we’re all weirdos.”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.