Demi Lovato's father, Patrick, died last weekend after battling cancer for many years. But this morning on "Good Morning America," Lovato told Robin Roberts that her father -- from whom she was estranged for the past six years -- also suffered from another disease: mental illness.
Per Lovato, her father suffered from mental illness in a way that hindered his ability to function well in society. The brave 20-year-old also mentioned that she herself had struggled with mental illness (she had been in rehab in the past) and announced the launch of "The Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program."
Through the program, Lovato explained on the morning talk show, she will help people with mental illness pay for their treatment -- one person at a time. She will do so in partnership with CAST Recovery, a treatment center Lovato said she had worked closely with in the past.
The "Heart Attack" singer made sure to tell Roberts and the viewers that despite her acrimonious relationship with her late father, he was a "wonderful person." She also reassured her Lovatics that she is "handling [his death] okay."
Demi Lovato Creates Mental Illness Scholarship
After battling bulimia, self-harm issues and bipolar depression, Demi Lovato continues to speak out about the need for support.
The singer recently lost her father, Patrick Lovato, and shared that he suffered from mental illnesses. This prompted Lovato to create The Lovato Treatment Scholarship, which will pay the cost of treatment for people suffering from a mental illness.
Lovato joined forces with CAST ecovery services, an organization that offers a number of programs for those suffering from eating disorders, drug addiction, depression and more. The scholarship recipient will receive financial support for recovery, which will include moving to one of CAST Recovery’s “transitional living homes” and participating in CAST’s outpatient program. Those interested in the scholarship can apply through CAST’s website.
Lovato continues to make it clear that she wants to help others and acknowledges that getting help can be expensive. Her father’s death reminded her of the importance of outside assistance in battling a mental illness.
“And whether it’s rehab or in-patient, out-patient – whatever it is – I wanna be there providing that service because I didn’t get the chance to do it with my dad and I wanna make it up to him now that he’s looking over me.”
Being a Role Model
Cosmopolitan magazine featured Lovato on its August cover, and she opened up about her past and her efforts to help others. She stated that she wants to be a strong role model who stays away from the constant partying and drugs that some other figures in the music industry get into.
“If you’re spending your entire early 20s chasing the next party, what are you running away from? That’s not a badass. What’s a badass is when you can sit through your problems and feel emotions when you don’t want to have them. There have been nights where I’ve had to sit on my hands, because I want to act out, because I physically can’t sit still in the pain I’m dealing with, from looking back and being bullied or other things that happened. And now, as hard as it may be, I will do that. That’s what makes me a badass.”
The singer sees her challenges as learning experiences and believes that now she must give back to others.
“I’m not super religious, but I grew up Christian and I believe in God. When I’m in L.A., I don’t talk about it that much because people are very judgmental, but I just feel like God gave me a voice, not just to sing with. He put me through those things, which seemed horrible at the time, but they were so worth it. With the obstacles I’ve overcome, I can help people.”
Sources: Daily News and Cosmopolitan
Photo by Viva Iquique
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