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“As a young person depression showed up for me in fatigue, loss of interest, my grades were dropping…I got an official diagnosis in my 30’s.” – Michelle Williams

You know, the thing about mental health is that it’s an equal opportunist—it doesn’t discriminate.” – Jewel

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This program aired live on May 25, 2021

Nearly one in five adults in the U.S. lives with a mental health condition. This number is increasing in the wake of the year we have just experienced. Mental health issues can take many shapes and affect people from all walks of life. If you or a loved one lives with a mental health condition, you are not alone.

Join for Mental Health in Focus, a virtual event in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Our guests include artists, entertainers, journalists, and advocates, each of whom tells a personal story about their mental health journey via books, broadcasts or foundations that advance the public conversation.

Mental Health Advocate Guests

Taraji P. Henson, Actor, Writer, Producer, and Director

Taraji P. Henson is an Academy Award nominee, a Golden Globe winner, and the star of the award-winning film Hidden Figures and Fox’s hit drama Empire. Beyond her accomplishments as an actor, writer, and producer, she’s a vocal advocate for mental health. In 2018, Taraji founded The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation to destigmatize mental illness in the African American community, provide mental health support in urban schools, and increase the number of culturally competent therapists in the field. She’s the author of a memoir, Around the Way Girl.

Jewel, Singer-Songwriter and Author

Jewel is a singer-songwriter, producer, actress, author, and poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Moreover, Jewel is a mental health and mindfulness advocate whose New York Times best-selling memoir Never Broken chronicles how her hard work, grit, and grace enabled her to survive and thrive from the extreme circumstances of her youth. Through her Never Broken program in the Inspiring Children Foundation, she is helping revolutionize mental health education for at-risk youth.

Michelle Williams, Singer, Actress, and Author

Michelle Williams is a Grammy Award-winning recording artist and actress who rose to stardom as a member of the R&B mega group Destiny’s Child, and most recently appeared as the Butterfly on Fox’s hit series The Masked Singer. An advocate for mental health and empowerment, Michelle is an ambassador for the Office on Women’s Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she promotes awareness for maintaining optimum physical and mental health through nutrition, exercise, and proper medical care. In her upcoming book, Checking In, Michelle shares the intimate, never-before-told story of how, even in the midst of enormous fame and success, she battled depression, leading her to find her true calling as an advocate for mental health — especially her own.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent

ABC/Heidi Gutman

For the past 9 years, Dr. Ashton has reported for ABC News on the biggest medical and health stories. Before joining ABC News, Dr. Ashton was the senior medical correspondent for CBS News and appeared on The Early Show and CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Dr. Ashton received her medical degree from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and her post-graduate training in women’s health and surgery at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. Dr. Ashton’s book Life After Suicide chronicles her journey in the wake of her ex-husband and her daughters’ father taking his own life.

Bershan Shaw, TV Personality, Motivational Speaker, and Business Coach

Bershan Shaw wasn’t born a warrior. She became one. Life coach, motivational speaker, multifaceted entrepreneur, and two-time breast cancer survivor, Bershan has dedicated her life to helping others embrace their inner warrior during life’s most difficult journeys. Bershan recently debuted as the newest cast member on season 13 of the Real Housewives of New York City.

Dan Harris, ABC News Correspondent and Co-Anchor

ABC/Heidi Gutman

Dan Harris is co-anchor of ABC News Nightline and the weekend editions of Good Morning America. He is a correspondent for ABC News and regularly reports for 20/20 and weekday editions of Good Morning America. Dan also is an advocate for mental health awareness with his bestselling book 10% Happier, a true story about his journey through the worlds of spirituality and self help, and his discovery of a truly sustainable way to get happier. He pursued this quest after having a live on-air panic attack.

Wilma Mae Basta, Founder at DRK Beauty

Wilma Mae Basta is originally a Philly native, a mother of two, and daughter of a civil rights leader. In 2017 she founded DRK Beauty, a well-being and mental health digital platform that helps women of color discover and craft their own unique well-being journey. Through DRK Beauty Healing, the organization gives away free therapy to women of color across the United States.

Healthline Moderators

Erin Petersen-Edge, Editor in Chief

Erin Petersen-Edge oversees’s team of 200+ writers and editors who produce articles and videos for America’s #1 most visited digital health and wellness brand. Erin is a recent Bay Area transplant to the Boston area.

Faye McCray, Editor in Chief

Faye McCray the Editor in Chief of, a Healthline Media brand and premier destination for mental health content. Faye is also an author and former health care attorney and advocate. She is based in the Washington, D.C. area.


Steve Swasey, Healthline Media Vice President of Communications

Steve Swasey oversees external communications for Healthline Media, the #1 digital health publisher whose brands include,, and Steve is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Each month Healthline Media publishes more than 1,000 evidence-based and medically approved articles and videos.

This live event is just one part of the consumer experience, TRANSFORM: Health Equity. This experience provides a space for our audience to explore personal stories and innovative new tools for inspiring education, advocacy and action — today. Join us in sparking change through education and conversation. Learn more here.