Selena Gomez is being recognized and honored for her work in mental health advocacy.
Gomez was selected by the Boston-based Ruderman Family Foundation — which aims to expand access to essential mental health programs and services — as the recipient of its 2022 Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion. Gomez was honored for her “dedication to raising mental health awareness and her commitment to expanding access to mental health services and education for young people around the world.”
“I am honored to be the recipient of this year’s Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion,” Gomez said in a statement. “Mental Health impacts all of us, and we each have a role to play in ensuring that everyone – regardless of their background – has access to mental health services. I hope by sharing my own story and using my platform, we can empower each other and more young people to address mental health.”
“We know that the stigma associated with mental health has led to silence around the issue. I want to change that, especially for young people,” she said. “I’ve been open and honest about my own journey with my mental health, and it hasn’t always been easy, but it’s something I’m constantly working on.”
“Selena Gomez powerfully embodies our Foundation’s mission in the mental health arena — a mission which continues to take on greater importance amid today’s unprecedented mental health crisis for teens, young adults, and the entire population,” Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation said. “Drawing inspiration from her personal journey, Selena has given voice to the struggles of countless individuals who have endured mental health challenges, while working tirelessly to increase access to indispensable mental health resources and programs.”
Gomez’s honor follows the recent release of her Apple TV+ documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me. The documentary, directed by Alek Keshishian, chronicles the superstar’s mental health journey which Gomez has been candid on over the years. In 2014, Gomez entered a facility for mental health treatment after being diagnosed with lupus, then she later revealed in 2020 that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Gomez also had a kidney transplant in 2017 because of complications and side effects related to her lupus.
To help raise mental health awareness, charitable donations have been tied to Gomez’s business ventures. Her HBO Max cooking show Selena + Chef raises money for nonprofit organizations, while her Rare Beauty brand includes the Rare Impact Fund, which aims to raise $100 million for mental health services during the next 10 years — thus far, the Fund has distributed $1.7 million in grants to 17 mental health organizations. She also launched a mental health platform called Wondermind.
Previous recipients of the Morton E. Ruderman Award honored for mental health advocacy have included five-time NBA All-Star Kevin Love, Academy Award-nominated actor Taraji P. Henson, and decorated Olympian Michael Phelps.