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DEMI'S DAY ON CAPITOL HILL

Demi Lovato has a lot on her plate at the moment. She’ll be in DC today to meet with legislators on behalf of the "Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health" initiative at the National Council for Behavioral Health's Hill Day. Lovato tells People she believes America needs "comprehensive mental health reform," including better access to healthcare. But her main mission is to destigmatize mental illness by sharing her story.

"I think it's important that people no longer look at mental illness as something taboo to talk about,” says Lovato, who suffers from bipolar disorder. “It's something that's extremely common; one in five adults has a mental illness, so basically everyone is essentially connected to this problem and this epidemic. The problem with mental illness is people don't look at it as a physical illness. When you think about it, the brain is actually the most complex organ in your body. We need to treat it like a physical illness and take it seriously. I went through several years of pain and suffering, and I want to be able to help people and help try to prevent that suffering from happening.”

Lovato new album, Confident, dropping 10/16 from Safehouse/Island/Hollywood, contains the ballad "Father," inspired by Lovato's bipolar-schizophrenic dad Patrick, who died in 2013. She founded started the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program in his honor.

"The estranged relationship that I had with my father really affected my life growing up, and it was because he was untreated," she explains in the People interview. "He inspired my charity in order to help people live a happy life. Nobody deserves to suffer. But it was a very complicated situation, and that's why I decided to write about it. Hopefully, people will be able to use that as inspiration and something that will help comfort them.”

Lovato has posted several video teasers for the album on Twitter, including the one below. And she’ll reunite with fellow Disney Channel alumna Selena Gomez, who’s also 23, at the top of the bill on two of iHeart’s 11 Jingle Ball concerts, in Oakland in NYC.

 

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