There have been some pretty amazing efforts to normalize conversations surrounding mental health in recent years. Unfortunately, however, it's clear that the stigma has not been entirely broken — yet. In a Twitter exchange that escalated very quickly, Sophie Turner's tweet about mental health shut down Piers Morgan’s comment that suggested people in Hollywood are trying to glamorize what it really means to be struggling with mental health issues, and therefore taking away the authenticity of those who are actually going through such hardships. Needless to say, Turner isn’t here for Piers’ highly insensitive comments, and naturally, neither were her followers.
In a nutshell: new year, same Piers Morgan. On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the English journalist retweeted an article from The Sun. The UK news outlet's tweet teased the contents of its interview with English actress Beverley Callard, stating that she believes many celebrities are trying to make mental health issues “fashionable” — as if mental health is some sort of accessory. Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion, but just because you feel or think a certain way doesn’t always mean you should exploit it. Morgan obviously hasn’t learned that lesson yet, as it’s 2019, and he’s still stirring up controversy on social media.
“She’ll be hammered for saying this, but it’s 100% true,” Morgan wrote.
Now, I couldn’t tell you if Callard got hammered for her comments, but Piers Morgan sure did for his. Gracefully swooping in like the noble lady she is (both on Game of Thrones and offscreen), Turner replied in defense of celebrities who have the courage to speak out about what they're going through.
“Or maybe they have a platform to speak out about it and help get rid of the stigma of mental illness which affects 1 in 4 people in UK per year,” the 22-year-old actress wrote. “But please go ahead and shun them back into silence. Tw*t.”
Sticking to what is apparently his New Year’s resolution to remain just as “annoying” and “argumentative” as he was in 2018 (his words, not mine), Piers responded to Turner’s flawless statement, “Hi Sophie, please don’t abuse me like this - it’s harmful to my mental health. Thanks.” *Eye roll*.
The way I see it, at that point, Turner had two options: take the high road, or keep this fire burning red hot. Somehow, she managed to do both in a series of four tweets that, rather than call out Morgan directly, basically subtweeted anyone who has made, or continues to make, a joke out of mental illnesses, especially when you could be using that effort and energy to actually try to understand and show compassion for those struggling.
To show their support for Turner, fans tweeted words of praise and agreement.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), on average, one in every five adults in the United States alone struggles with a mild to severe mental illness, while a recent survey from the National Centre of Social Research, Britain's leading independent social research institute, found that one in every four adults in the UK are struggling, too. Not only are these statistics heartbreaking, but from what I understand, they’re only based on reported mental health issues. There’s nothing "fashionable" about that, if you ask me.
And as far as celebrities being open about their struggles with mental illness, Mrs. Joe Jonas to-be is absolutely right in that those who have a platform have the opportunity to be a voice for those battling mental health struggles. Truth be told, celebrities are humans, too, so when they talk candidly about the anxieties they face, it can make someone who’s silently going through the same experience feel a little less alone.
If you're currently experiencing a mental health struggle, know that you don't have to suffer in silence, or work through it alone. There are resources listed on the NIMH's official website, MentalHealthAmerica.net, as well as online counseling services like Talkspace and BetterHelp. Additionally, don't hesitate to reach out to a loved one or friend if you aren't sure what the best next steps are. They might be able to help guide you, or at the very least, lend an ear.