In honor of World Mental Health Day, TooFab spoke to the actress about her advocacy work, which began after her son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011. The "Twin Peaks" star said it took six years to find her child the correct treatments and proper diagnosis. Through her journey she learned how lacking our mental healthcare system is and the profound stigma our culture still carries around the issue.
"I went in full battle mode to spread awareness and share my story," she said after learning of her son's diagnosis. "Through sharing our stories is how we're going to change our attitudes toward mental health. We had no idea until we were experiencing it and you know, going through that with our son and even just the stigma within our own family and just my own stigma. I was just fearful. I didn't know anything, it was really just a lack of knowledge and until I learned it, I realized okay, it's very common and you can live a very productive, happy life. [You just have to] find the right treatments and just keep continuing to share your story."
"There's a lot of people that look up to people in our industry," Amick said. "And when they see somebody that's going through what they're going through -- that they look up to and they idolize -- [it can make] them feel [less] alone."
Amick also discussed the importance of self-care when it comes to overall mental health.
"You have to really get to learn your own triggers," Amick said. "Everybody has it. Everybody has their own individual journey, but then there's also a lot of similarities, so it's reaching out to a lot of other people and saying, 'Hey, what has helped you?'"
"And guess what?" she cotinued. "You will eventually find a good combination and then your body chemistry changes, but you have to continuously just be really aware -- you're just going to have to keep trying stuff and see what works at different times."
When asked if she has a message for those that are hesitant to get help, she had this to say: "You're maybe not feeling comfortable sharing it because you think that there might be some stigma attached to it and it might affect whether somebody wants to hire you or continue to employ you. You might feel like you might lose friends over it or family over it [but it helps] just knowing the high percentage of people that are dealing with the diagnosis. You'd be shocked if you [knew] how many other people around you are dealing with the exact same thing."
"So my thing is just really try to be brave and reach out and share with someone, whoever you feel is safe for you," she added.
The actress is also currently shopping around a new mental health talk show. The project, she explained, will be a "docu-series based on mental health conversations. I'll be highlighting and interviewing celebrities who are dealing with some kind of diagnosis. And then I also invite other people [who] have knowledge or experience with that topic and then we have a discussion around it."