Billie Eilish has spoken candidly about her struggles with mental health, and the 17-year-old rock phenom is sharing her experiences in a powerful new PSA for the Ad Council
The PSA, in conjunction with Seize the Awkward, encourages young people to reach out to friends who are struggling, and encourages those experience mental health issues to not be ashamed to seek help when they need it.
“It doesn’t make you weak to ask for help,” says Eilish, who has Tourette syndrome. “Starting that conversation, you don’t have to make it super serious right away.”
In fact, simply checking in on a friend can be enough to get the ball rolling. “Are you okay? Really? Are you actually good?” she suggests asking a friend, pointing out that sending a text can also go a long way.
“Sometimes you don’t even have to say something for them to know,” she says. “Sometimes it’s about a hug.”
Ultimately, Eilish has one key thing for people to keep in mind. “The main thing I’m trying to say is that you should keep your ears open and you should listen,” she explains.
The Seize the Awkward campaign encourages people to speak openly and honestly with friends about their mental health, and features testimonials by such celebs as actor Tyler Posey and YouTube personalities Liza Koshy and Markiplier.
“Talking to your friend about mental health can be scary — but reaching out when you’re feeling down or when you see a friend struggling can make a huge difference,” notes a message on the organization’s website, offering tips and advice on how to broach what can be an awkward conversation.