According to the National Institute Of Mental Health, at least 16.2 million Americans have experienced a major depressive episode in the past. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates more than 40 million American have some form of an anxiety disorder.
So, with these truly alarming numbers, why is the stigma around mental illness just as firm as it was 20 years ago? That's what superstar singer Josh Groban is trying to change one interview at a time.
While chatting with the Norwegian journalist Fredrik Skavlan on his talk show Skavlan, Josh opened up about his personal struggles and what he hopes his new music will do for fans feeling the same way. His message is one that every person coping with mental illness should hear...
After briefly introducing his new album and chatting about his childhood, Josh dove into the deeper discussion about his loneliness as a teen superstar. He felt isolated, alone and without other children his age to relate to – all of these emotions left Josh floundering when it came to mental stability.
Thankfully, he began to search out interests outside of his career. With his newfound work-life balance (what he fondly refers to as his "river," or things that make the dark times seem a little brighter) and a wonderful therapist, Josh was able to pull himself out of the hole of depression and anxiety.
While both will be things he'll have to deal with for the rest of his life, Josh knows it's his responsibility as a role model to speak out and be a voice for his fans.
This isn't the first time Josh has been open about his struggles with mental illness. In a recent interview with PEOPLE, Josh reiterated what he's trying to tell his fans with the song "River."
"Whenever we have dark times in our lives, whether we suffer from depression, or addiction, or anxiety, or even just having a really bad day, the worst is that it feels like we are suffering alone. In a world of billions connected by social media, far too many people feel this way and while the conversation is getting better, it’s not talked about nearly enough.
I hope this song and video are a reminder that it’s the simple steps, the smallest gestures, that can pull us back to the light. It’s those things for me. Find your 'river.'"
If you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness of any kind, please check out this list of life-saving resources. Reaching out for help isn't a show of weakness – it's a display of self-acceptance, love and strength.