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“We Also Need Healthcare From the Neck Up”: Kamala Harris, Selena Gomez Talk Mental Health

Selena Gomez has publicly shared her experiences with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder and is a vocal advocate for mental healthcare and ending the stigma around it. Today, she took it a step further. With the presidential election fast approaching, Gomez talked with Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris about the crucial importance of mental health, as well as her experience with lupus and her own plan to vote.

“You can’t just think that the body starts from the neck down,” Harris said, opening the conversation about mental healthcare. “We also need healthcare from the neck up.”

“I myself have shared my story about my mental health journey,” Gomez said. “I just read too much about how deep that this country is being affected mentally.” Mental healthcare, she said, should be something that’s easy to understand and accessible to everyone.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Harris replied. “It’s something that I care deeply about and I look forward to working with you on it.”

The two also talked about lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects organs and tissues in the body. In 2015, Gomez revealed she had been diagnosed with and treated for the disease. “You’ve been an incredible voice on the issue of lupus, and that disproportionately affects women of color,” Harris said, adding that her sister has the disease as well. “It’s something that we have been, as a family, dealing with for many, many years. And there’s so many women of color who have lupus and are still struggling to get the kind of attention and treatment that they deserve.”

Finally, the two touched on the importance of voting in this election cycle, with Gomez revealing she’s planning to vote early. “The past four years, I’ve experienced a lot and I just feel my vote counts more than ever,” Gomez said. “As a citizen, as someone who truly, truly cares about my country, not voting is just not an option.”

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