Michelle Obama, Kerry Washington And Sarah Jessica Parker Talk Mental Health Stigma In Glamour

04/08/2015 11:07 am ET | Updated Apr 08, 2015
Patrick Demarchelier/Glamour Magazine

First Lady Michelle Obama and actresses Kerry Washington and Sarah Jessica Parker are here to drop some knowledge on Hollywood and the rest of the world: It's time to start prioritizing mental health.

The women discussed de-stigmatizing mental illness -- particularly for veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder -- in Glamour magazine's May issue. While many service members return home completely healthy, Obama noted, for the 11 to 20 percent of recent veterans who suffer from PTSD, it can be challenging to seek treatment due to fear of judgment.

"[W[hen we do come across someone who is struggling ... we have to develop a culture of open arms and acceptance so that they feel comfortable saying, 'I'm a veteran. And by the way, I need little help,'" she said. "This is something we need to do in this country around mental health as a whole -- de-stigmatizing mental health."

Washington also opened up about seeing a therapist in the magazine, citing that keeping tabs on mental illness is just as important as monitoring physical illness.

"I say that publicly because I think it's really important to take the stigma away from mental health," she said. "My brain and my heart are really important to me. I don't know why I wouldn't seek help to have those things be as healthy as my teeth. I go to the dentist. So why wouldn't I go to a shrink?"

Preach.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of Glamour on newsstands April 14 or download the digital edition now at Glamour.com/App.

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If you -- or someone you know -- need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.

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