NY Gov. Cuomo, Justin Bieber & More Big Names Get Candid About How They’re Really Feeling Right Now

Since Kenneth Cole launched the Mental Health Coalition and the #HowAreYouReallyChallenge last week to help end stigma for all mental health conditions, more boldface names have stepped up to participate in the initiative, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Gov. Cuomo, who is Cole’s brother-in-law, has been a key figure in navigating the coronavirus pandemic as New York has been the United States’ hardest hit state. And while he has been heralded as both an effective leader and a pillar of strength during the global health crisis, he wasn’t afraid to reveal the state of his own well-being.

“I’m sad for the number of New Yorkers who have died because of this awful virus,” he said in an Instagram video. “And I’m sad about the pain that so many families now feel.” He added, “I live by the rule that you will never solve a problem that you are unwilling to admit… The more openly we acknowledge our mental health crisis, the better we will all be.”

Kendall Jenner was the first A-list name to team up with Cole on the #HowAreYouReallyChallenge, which encourages people to come together to discuss mental health in an open way. She jumped at the opportunity to share her own story about anxiety as well as open up about her experience in isolation during COVID-19. The model then challenged sister Kim Kardashian West and friends Justin and Hailey Bieber to acknowledge how they are really feeling, too.

“This time has been mentally challenging, but it’s all going to be okay,” Kardashian West shared.

For their part, the Biebers said they experienced a mixed bag of emotions: Hailey described how she’s been feeling scared and nervous about the future while Justin explained, “there are days where I feel super encouraged and feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and there are days where it’s like ‘when is this going to end?'”

Through Cole’s Mental Health Coalition, those seeking help will be able to utilize the online platform and its resources from partners, such as The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Bring Change to Mind, Child Mind Institute, Crisis Text Line, JED Foundation, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and The Trevor Project.

“This is so far beyond than anything I could have imagined,” Cole told FN. “Mental health affects everyone. At the end of this process, you’ll see that people will reach a comfort zone and will make it more much acceptable to talk about mental health. That’s the plan.”

Others supporting the cause have included designer Donna Karan, Whoopi Goldberg, Kesha, Chris Cuomo and more. Scroll through the videos to see what they had to say about mental health.

Access exclusive content