Please Stay Here

October 13, 2020

Cynthia Germanotta is president and co-founder of Born This Way Foundation (BTWF), created with her daughter Lady Gaga. Born This Way Foundation supports the mental health and wellness of young people, empowering them to build a kinder, braver world. Cynthia is also a World Health Organization (WHO) Ambassador for Mental Health.

This story took place in United States

Every day at Born This Way Foundation, we strive to make sure young people know they are heard, their emotions are valid, and they are not alone in this world. We also know that in delivering this message that words matter. 

So today I’m here to deliver a simple message, but one from the bottom of my heart: please stay

That is why I am proud to share that for World Mental Health Day this Saturday, we’re teaming up with Zynga to make STAY the Words With Friends word of the day. We are working together to raise awareness and highlight our new resource with Find Your Anchor: Please Stay.

Please Stay reminds us to search for the anchors in our lives, whether they’re stopping for 30 seconds to breathe deeply and refocus, taking a social media break, seeking professional mental health support, or even checking out adorable pictures of pets on social media. On our site, you’ll find a pledge asking you to promise to stay here, suggestions for anchors to search for in your life, evidence-based self-care tips, and life-saving resources. 

You can learn more about #PleaseStayPledge by joining a live conversation I’m hosting today at 4 pm ET that will be broadcast on our Facebook and YouTube pages. Here’s a graphic about the conversation that you can share on social media:

We created Please Stay as a response to the troubling increase in rates of depression, suicide, and anxiety disorders among young people during this time. I was shaken by recent CDC data indicating onein-four young people between the ages of 18 and 24 say they’ve considered suicide, and more than 40% have experienced a mental or behavioral health condition connected to the pandemic. It’s on us to better connect young people with the resources they need to not only survive during this time, but also thrive in the face of struggle.

I can’t think of a better theme for this week (and beyond) than STAY, as there is no message more urgent than that right now. Please stay. We need you here.

We’re in a difficult time and I hope that you will take time to visit Please Stay to use our interactive site to identify what’s anchoring you to this life from minute to minute. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking. Right now, my anchors are going for walks through Central Park, FaceTiming with my girls, and practicing ballet. Will you share yours with me and promise to stay? Join me in visiting Please Stay and share this link with a loved one:

You are so incredibly loved. Stay kind, stay brave, and stay here. 

In Kindness,

Cynthia Germanotta