#WeRise: Apl de Ap joins celebrities to raise awareness on mental health

LOS ANGELES — May is Mental Health Awareness month, and while this issue is often not talked about, some celebrities including Fil-Am stars are hoping to change that.

High profile names are hoping to spark the conversation on an issue that’s still taboo.

“We try to push it away but it’s something we all deal with. That we all come across but if we just give each other support in this way no matter what it is and educate ourselves and make sure we stay open to mental wellness and mental health,” says Common.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is hosting We Rise — a ten-day pop-up event featuring celebrities and community groups.

Among the stars was The Black Eyed Peas, with Fil-Am rapper Apl de Ap.

The Black Eyed Peas released their new music video, “Ring the Alarm,” featuring the Voice Philippines’ Jessica Reynoso.

The song tackles issues including domestic violence, police brutality, and poverty.

“This is a cry out. To call out to action and do our thing and do our part for our community,” says Apl.

While Apl and his celebrity friends talk about the issue, some cultures still shy away from the topic.

“Kailangan natin to kasi cultura natin hindi pinagusapan ng Mental Health para bang minsan kinakahiyaan pa. So hindi natin binibigyan pansin ang mga sintomas o kaya isang Tao nagiging isolated or nakikisamaluhan ganon hindi natin ano na ngyari sa Kanya so maganda eto para mag usapan,” says Josie Dhungana, LAC Dept of Mental Health Clinical Supervisor.

Parkland students turned activists are also part of the festivities.

While plenty may argue that gun violence stems from a mental health problem, some believe that by addressing mental health as a community, it can eventually help prevent violent acts like the recent school shooting in Texas.

“Just educating the youth the parents and everyone in the community of when to say something, because sometimes people are unaware, there’s certain individuals that are making remarks or saying something and they don’t tell anybody. So it’s important to know where to seek help,” says Miriam Brown, Deputy Director LA County Dept of Mental Health.

And while the events will last just a few days, the county is finding ways to reach out to the community.

“We are committed to provide the services in multiple languages and we usually try to get individuals that speak the language, so they can educate the communities about the stigma of mental health and how important it is to talk about it, because mental health is just as important as physical health,” says Brown.

The We Rise LA events will continue until Memorial Day — and more Filipino celebs including the Jabbawockeez will participate.

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