The United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO) announced its four new Goodwill Ambassadors for the promotion of global health and one of them was Cynthia Germanotta, the mother of Singer and Actress Lady Gaga.
Mrs. Germanotta is the President of the Born This Way Foundation (presumably named after Lady Gaga’s 2011 hit song and album), which she and her daughter founded in 2012 to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. For this reason, she was named Goodwill Ambassador for Mental Health.
On this occasion, former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was appointed Ambassador of Health Workforce, while the Brazilian couple made up of Alisson Becker of the Brazilian national and Liverpool soccer teams and Dr. Natalia Loewe Becker will serve as Ambassadors for Health Promotion.
“Each of our new ambassadors are champions in their own right, from helping their communities rebuild and develop sustainably, to fighting for better mental health and well-being, to being role models for healthier living,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who announced the Ambassadors in his speech to open the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva.
In response to the nomination, Germanotta tweeted “I’m honored to serve as @WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Mental Health and to work alongside @DrTedros + his extraordinary team to ensure mental #healthforall is a global priority. We face many challenges but there are even more reasons for hope.”
Lady Gaga also took to Twitter to congratulate her mother and to stress the importance of spreading awareness about mental health. The singer has long been outspoken about her own past struggles with mental health and continuously takes part in initiatives aimed at helping those facing similar challenges, such as the brand new program Mental Health First-Aid Kit, whose goal is to help high schoolers deal with such issues.
The program, run by the National Council for Behavioral Health and supported by the Born This Way Foundation, teaches teens and those working with them to respond to signs of mental illness, reducing stigma and enabling them to help and support each other.