Lady Gaga is Setting up Mental Health First Aid Training Programs for High Schoolers

Lady Gaga has been in the news quite a bit as of late. She gave an incredible performance in A Star is Born, she wore a $30 million diamond to the Oscars (where she was awarded Best Original Song for Shallow), and she recently split from her fiancé (only fueling the rumors that she was in love with her ASIB co-star, Bradley Cooper). Today, the singer is making headlines for the nonprofit organization she started with her mother.

Seven years ago, Lady Gaga and her mother started the Born This Way Foundation. “We were driven by the belief that a kinder, braver world was possible, and we were inspired by the ideas, stories, and voices of the young people who need that world to exist,” writes Gaga on the nonprofit’s Facebook page. In seven years, BTWF has accomplished a lot.

“We’ve lifted up the voices of young people to tell transformative stories of compassion in action and created campaigns that have inspired millions of acts of kindness. We’ve conducted research that’s helped to shed light on the mental health needs of young people and connected youth with the resources they need to support their mental and emotional wellness,” reads the organization’s page.

Born This Way Foundation’s latest project

To celebrate seven years, BTWF is teaming up with the National Council for Behavioral Health to launch America’s first ever Mental Health First Aid training program. The program will be taught to high-schoolers in grades 10 through 12 and will focus on such issues as anxiety, depression, substance use, and eating disorders. A pilot program will be debuting this spring in eight schools across the country. The program will then expand come fall.

The first school to receive training

Lady Gaga | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Born This Way Foundation
Lady Gaga | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Born This Way Foundation

Kickapoo High School, located in Springfield, Missouri, is one of the first schools to try out the program. Beginning this week, sophomores have the option to participate in a full day of training. The training will go over a five-step action plan to help students help their peers who might be struggling with substance abuse or mental health crisis.

Many of the school’s teachers are hopeful about the program. They think it makes sense that a student is more likely to talk to a friend when they’re struggling rather than a teacher or guidance counselor.

“Teens trust their friends, so they need to be trained to recognize signs of mental health or substance use problems in their peers. The number one thing a teen can do to support a friend dealing with anxiety or depression is to help the friend seek support from a trusted adult,” says Kickapoo high school counselor, Amy Moran.

Lady Gaga is calling on her fans for help

Lady Gaga recently went on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and called social media “the toilet of the Internet,” but Mother Monster is showing her fans how to use her social powers for good. On her social platforms, Gaga has been calling out to her fans to donate and spread awareness of her latest cause.

“Please join us in supporting teen Mental Health First Aid – every dollar you donate today will go towards making sure we can bring this vitally important program to as many teens as possible, as quickly as possible,” she wrote on the nonprofit’s Facebook page.

“I know what it means to have someone support me and understand what I’m going through, and every young person in the world should have someone to turn to when they’re hurting. It saved my life, and it will save theirs.

Celebrate seven years of Born This Way Foundation and join our community to spread love, kindness, and bravery!”

Read more: Should Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Do Another Movie Together?

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