Camila Cabello was honored at Variety’s Power Of Women: New York event on May 5th for her commitment to ending the stigma surrounding mental health, as well as the formation of her non-profit, The Healing Justice Project. In addition to forming an initiative to help others struggling, Camila is open about her own battle with mental health. The ‘Bam Bam’ singer spoke to HollywoodLife about her decision to open up about her struggles, and how songwriting helped her through.
“I think it started with me being in the studio when I started doing therapy. My therapist was like, why don’t you just like write a song about it? So, that’s how ‘psychofreak’ and a lot of songs came about. That has transferred to talking about it in the studio and then talking about it in interviews,” Camila explained in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife. “Now, I feel like if you talk about it and you’re like, ‘It’s kind of not a big deal,’ it makes other people feel really relieved, too. There’s no downside.”
Later in the evening, when accepting her honor during the event at The Glasshouse in NYC, Camila hailed the benefits of therapy and recited poems by Alice Walker. “In my teens and early twenties, I struggled with anxiety that at points felt crippling. My mental health was at an all time low. I don’t know how I would’ve made it through if it weren’t for my Mom. She helped find me the therapist and the treatment that changed my life, and my manager too, who’s here,” she told the crowd. “Through all of that, it was difficult for me to socialize and just be a human. I didn’t have space for anything else because my own struggle to just be okay was consuming it all. I needed all the tools I could get and because of the resources available to me, I was able to not just survive, but now thrive. Throughout my treatment, a lot of which happened during the pandemic and after, I discovered I suddenly had space for creativity again, for intimate friendships, for new hobbies, for activism. And those things made me feel more connected, grounded, and more myself than ever.”
She continued, “I realized I can’t pour from an empty cup — I can’t be present for my career or my family or my community if I don’t find the space to heal myself. It was a difficult lesson to learn, because as women, we’re often expected to be everything, for everyone, all the time. That’s one of the reasons I started working with Movement Voter Fund to create the Healing Justice Project.”
The Healing Justice Project, launched in January 2021 by Camila and Movement Voter Fund, is a group supporting hundreds of organizations that organize their communities to grow their power and create transformation. “Through the Healing Justice Project, we empower organizers to focus on their own healing while also addressing the generational systemic violence and oppression that is felt by so many communities. They’re constantly giving all of themselves but rarely have the support to fill their own cup,” Camila explained in her speech. “My mental health journey showed me that no matter who you are, no matter how much you love what you do, you can’t keep going if you don’t have the resources, time, space and tools to heal.”
The Cuban-born songstress added, “Ultimately, the idea is both simple and powerful: In order to heal the world, we have to be able to heal ourselves, together. And vice versa, in order to heal ourselves, we have to help heal the trauma, oppression, and heartbreak that is ever present in our world.”