10 Male Celebrities Who Are Smashing Mental Health Stereotypes

This is the definition of brave.

Nearly 6 million American men suffer from depression each year, yet many of them avoid seeking treatment. A 2015 analysis also found that men are more likely not to speak up if they're having suicidal thoughts.

This aversion to support is likely due to the negative stereotypes surrounding mental illness and, when it comes to men, a (very incorrect) notion that mental health issues are "weak" and not masculine.

But more than a handful of celebrities are changing that. Take a look at some of these mental health advocates below. Not only do they slam the idea that mental health issues are something to be ashamed of, they're actively reversing the idea that men who speak about them aren't "tough." If you ask us, that's pretty brave.

Zayn Malik
Getty Images
The singer recently canceled his appearance at the Capital Summertime Ball in the U.K. due to issues from anxiety. Malik explained his condition in a Twitter and Instagram post, apologizing to his fans.

“Unfortunately, my anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me,” he wrote in the statement. “With the magnitude of the event, I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career.”
Wayne Brady
Michael Boardman via Getty Images
After the death of actor Robin Williams in 2014, Brady opened up about the stigma around mental illness and his own experience with it to Entertainment Tonight.

"It took me a while to get my stuff together to go, 'You know what? If you're not happy, you have to do something about it,'" he said. "Just to admit that you are feeling this way is a huge step. To claim that, to say, 'Why do I feel dark? Why do I feel unhappy? Let me do something about this.'"
Bill Clinton
Brendan McDermid / Reuters
Clinton advocated for better mental health policies when he was president, slamming the negative stereotypes surrounding the conditions during a radio address in 1999.

"Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all," he stated.
Howie Mandel
Araya Diaz via Getty Images
The comedian and TV show host has been honest in interviews about his experience with obsessive compulsive disorder and why it's important to seek therapy for the condition.

"We take care of our dental health. We don't take care of our mental health," he told CNN. "I think the solution to making this world better is if we would just be healthy, mentally."
Jon Hamm
Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
Hamm told U.K. magazine The Observer that treatment and medication allowed him to manage his mental health issues.

"I did do therapy and antidepressants for a brief period, which helped me," he said. "Which is what therapy does: it gives you another perspective when you are so lost in your own spiral... It helps."
Brandon Marshall
USA Today Sports / Reuters
The Jets wide receiver hasn't been shy about advocating for mental health through his initiative Project 375. He also opened up about his own experience with borderline personality disorder in a HuffPost blog.

"We need to accept that mental illness is a disease — and like any other disease, it needs stronger research, early screening and treatment, especially for young people," he wrote.
John Green
JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
The Fault In Our Stars author has previously tweeted about his personal experience with an anxiety disorder and also touted the benefits of seeking support when dealing with a mental health condition.

There is hope. There is treatment,” he wrote to a fan in a Reddit AMA. “You are not alone, and while I know the struggle feels at times completely hopeless and futile, there is a far shore for the vast majority of people, and I wish you the best.”
Jared Padalecki
Albert L. Ortega via Getty Images
The actor told Variety magazine that he struggled with depression for many years. He shared an encouraging message with his fans going through the same experiences in the interview.

“I say constantly that there’s no shame in dealing with these things,” Padalecki told the magazine. “There’s no shame in having to fight every day, but fighting every day, and presumably, if you’re still alive to hear these words or read this interview, then you are winning your war. You’re here.”
Reid Ewing
Paul Archuleta via Getty Images
The "Modern Family" actor discussed his issues with body dysmorphia, a condition where a person obsesses over their physical looks, in a HuffPost blog. He also explained his history with eating disorders and his addiction to cosmetic surgery.

"In my case, my looks were the only thing that mattered to me," he wrote. "I had just moved to LA to become an actor and had very few, if any, friends. I’d sit alone in my apartment and take pictures of myself from every angle, analyzing every feature."
Dwayne Johnson
Juan Naharro Gimenez via Getty Images
Johnson discussed his experience with depression on Oprah's "Master Class," where he explained how he learned the important lesson that he wasn't alone. He also shared a message with others who were dealing with a mental health issue.

"Have faith that on the other side of your pain is something good," he said.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Howie Mandel as a singer. He is a comedian and TV show host, and we regret the error.

Before You Go

11 Quotes That Perfectly Sum Up The Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

Do you have info to share with HuffPost reporters? Here’s how.

Go to Homepage

Gift Guides