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Gaga launches online mental health courses

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga Image credit: people.com

Lady Gaga has announced a new free online course initiative for young people which aims to improve their mental health and encourage them to look out for one another.

Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation is teaming up with Canadian mental health charity Jack.org to launch the Be There Certificate courses.

The 35 year-old singer and actress told PEOPLE: "I hear from young people around the world every day that need the validation, affirmation, and support the Be There Certificate offers.

"Sharing this resource with each of those young people and the world means everything to me and I share it as a way to remind myself and everyone else that we each have a role to play in being there for each other."

Gaga continued: "With the Be There Certificate and because of the work of Born This Way Foundation and Jack.org, you can learn how to be there for yourself and others confidently, safely, and kindly.

"It can feel daunting to start the conversation about mental health with someone else and offer support. With the Be There Certificate you learn how to truly, kindly safely be there for someone while maintaining your own mental wellness."

Gaga’s mother Cynthia Germanotta is the co-founder and president of the Born This Way Foundation.

Germanotta said: "We work to promote the mental health and wellness of young people by: making kindness cool; validating the emotions of young people; and eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health." 

"The Be There Certificate is an important and urgently needed mental health resource young people everywhere can utilize to safely support their peers to build a kinder and braver world.”

The Be There Certificate will be published in English, French and Spanish which will be “designed to increase mental health literacy and provide youth — and anyone for that matter — with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to safely support their peers who may be struggling with their mental health.”

Those who sign up to the online course will learn how to spot signs somebody could be struggling with their mental health and how they can offer support.

"As the mental health conversation in North America is growing, so is the number of young people experiencing mental health struggles and seeing those around them struggle. They're often left wondering what they can do about it, and are frequently met by friends and family who aren't equipped to support them. That's why we created the Be There Certificate, to better equip youth to safely support their peers and loved ones," said Shane Green, Vice President, Programs, at Jack.org.

Gaga announced the new course by posting a video of herself on social media where she lists "five golden rules on how to safely be there for someone."

"Number one, say what you see. Number two, show you care. Number three, hear them out. Number four, know your role. Number five, connect to help, kindly and safely,"

The Born This Way Foundation is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year since its founding in 2012.