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Filmmaker's 'Sad Girls Club' to advocate for mental health draws Selena Gomez's attention

She received this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collaborate with Gomez's Rare Beauty Mental Health Council to de-stigmatize mental health amongst people of color.

Filmmaker's 'Sad Girls Club' to advocate for mental health draws Selena Gomez's attention
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @rarebeauty

Trigger warning: This article contains themes of suicide and mental health issues that some readers may find distressing.

An aspiring filmmaker with a big dream had moved to Los Angeles to turn her passion into a profession. On the outside, she was on her path to success; however, she was facing some mental health issues that she had to hide behind a brave face every day. Elyse Fox had her dream job, was making enough money to survive and was surrounded by a good circle of friends, according to InStyle.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez (@rarebeauty)


 

"But I was very unhappy. It was a shock because I thought I could just obtain or cross off all of these things on my manifestation list and that will equal success and happiness. I had to really look at myself and say, 'If it's not everything else around you, then it might be something else going on with you,'" she told the outlet. While suffering through depression, Fox attempted to take her own life and ultimately decided to return home to New York City and seek professional help.

In her journey to recovery, Fox used her skills as a filmmaker to create a short film called "Conversations With Friends," which she released in 2016 on Vimeo. The project opened bigger doors of opportunity for Fox. "I received a lot of feedback from young women around the world who saw themselves in my story and wanted to tell their stories in a way that felt as authentic as the film," she said. "I was really nervous to even just talk about these things, and a lot of the young girls and women reaching out to me were also ashamed."


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by TOPICALS (@topicals)


 

After encountering several people who reached out to her with their personal experiences and shared their battle with mental health issues, Fox was prompted to start a non-profit organization called Sad Girls Club. The goal of this club was to de-stigmatize mental illness and make mental health services and resources available to women in need, both in-person and online. With over 200,000 followers on the Sad Girls Club's Instagram account, Fox has noted that they have provided over 250 hours of therapy to its members.

"It's important to make mental healthcare accessible to everyone because it's non-negotiable for your overall health. When you neglect your mental health, inevitably other parts of your life will start to decline. It's just as important as your physical health," Fox stated. Her incredible initiative connected her with Selena Gomez and her Rare Impact Fund two years ago. "It was really cool to know that we had that reach and she [Gomez] saw the potential and the value to also partner and work with us as a consultant," Fox rejoiced.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Elyse Fox (@elyse.fox)


 

Gomez created the fund to spread awareness, destigmatize mental illness and raise enough money to make mental health services and education more accessible for young people in collaboration with Sad Girls Club. The club's goal is to raise $100 million in the next 10 years with the help of Gomez’s beauty brand, Rare Beauty, which has been donating 1% of all sales to the Rare Impact Fund. 


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Elyse Fox (@elyse.fox)


 

Rare Beauty also made an official announcement on their Instagram about partnering with Fox and her organization. The caption of the post read: "Elyse is a member of our Rare Beauty Mental Health Council, mental health advocate, filmmaker, mommy of one, and founder of @sadgirlsclub. Sad Girls Club is committed to showing up for Black women & people of color by creating a community and providing resources to better our mental health."

Image Source: Rare Beauty founder and creator Selena Gomez visits Sephora Times Square on November 04, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Rare Beauty)
Image Source: Rare Beauty founder and creator Selena Gomez visits Sephora Times Square on November 04, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Rare Beauty)

"I feel sometimes we get so looked at, but don't feel seen or understood," Fox added. "'Everybody's in' means a space for people to grow, to glow up, to show up, and to just feel seen, a place where you can be your true, authentic self without repercussion and without shame." Fox's artistic journey, which started with making a documentary, has bloomed into a greater cause and has started a movement in the community where everyone's mental health is prioritized.



 

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

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