Kiana Valenciano Is The Next Mental Health Advocate To Come Around—Here's What She Has To Say
Kiana Valenciano is one brave girl.
While many mental health advocates who have come before her have vocally promoted the importance of mental health, Kiana was one of the handful who used themselves and their personal experiences as an example in the furthering of the cause.
In an Instagram post published late last week, the 25-year-old surprised her followers with a heartfelt narration about a deeply personal story. Unpredictably, she goes on to open up about her life-altering experiences with depression and anxiety two years ago that prompted her to engage in self-harm.
Although her injuries were relatively minor (she developed the habit of scratching her nape so often that it led to scarring), she focused on how it dawned on her that in those moments, she had not even realized that she was in need of an intervention. In the end, Kiana thanked her loved ones and her faith for giving her the strength to face the problem and ultimately, come out stronger. For those going through similar battles, she advised them to let love—and help—in.
Saved. Last night someone asked me what the tattoo on my neck means and why I got it. 2016 was a really heavy year for me. I was dealing with anxiety and depression and reached the point where I didn’t even notice I was hurting myself physically. It wasn’t until a friend pointed out that I had scratches and scars across the back of my neck that I realised I was lost and needed help. 2 years later, with the combined help of God, my family, amazing friends, and Sam, I’m able to deal with my anxiety in a healthier way. No more scratches! Just a reminder that I’m saved. If you’re going through something, don’t be afraid to let people in. Let your loved ones love you ?
Her message is one that many people who have successfully addressed mental health issues can attest to: it takes a lot of courage to be able to ask for help when that realization hits. Often, the burden of being ostracized for admitting to battling depression, anxiety, and similar concerns adds to the underlying problem, making the road to healing much more difficult than it has to be.
As a role model for the youth, Kiana made use of her influence to paint an honest portrayal of her experiences which show that her life as a celebrity has its tough moments, too. She proves that mental health issues can affect anyone and everyone for a myriad of reasons, yet what matters most in the end is believing that one can overcome them and that a community of supportive loved ones is ready to lend a listening ear, and an open heart.
Kiana joins the likes of Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, Isabelle Daza, and Angel Aquino in raising the issues relating to mental health in the Philippines.
Photos from @kianavee