Camila Hair was honored in Variety’s Power of Women: New York event on May 5 for his commitment to ending the stigma surrounding mental health, as well as the formation of his non-profit organization, The Healing Justice Project. In addition to forming an initiative to help others who are struggling, Camila is open about her own battle with mental health. The ‘Bam Bam’ singer spoke with hollywoodlife about her decision to open up about her struggles and how songwriting helped her through it.
“I think it all started with me being in the studio when I started doing therapy. My therapist told me, why don’t you like to write a song about it? So, that’s how ‘psychofreak’ and many songs came about. That has moved to talking about it in the studio and then talking about it in interviews,” Camila explained in an EXCLUSIVE interview with hollywoodlife. “Now, I feel like if you talk about it and say, ‘It’s not a big deal,’ it makes other people really relieved as well. There is no downside.
Later that night, when she accepted her honor during the event at The Glasshouse in New York, Camila praised the benefits of therapy and recited poems from Alice Walker. “In my teens and early twenties, I struggled with an anxiety that was paralyzing at times. My mental health was at an all time low. I don’t know how I would have survived if it wasn’t for my mom. He helped me find the therapist and treatment that changed my life, and also my manager, who is here,” she told the crowd. “Despite all that, it was hard for me to socialize and just be a human being. I had no room for anything else because my own struggle to be okay was consuming everything. I needed every tool I could get, and because of the resources available to me, I was able to not only survive, but thrive. Throughout my treatment, much of which happened during the pandemic and afterward, I found that I suddenly had room again for creativity, for close friendships, for new hobbies, for activism. And those things made me feel more connected, grounded, and myself than ever before.”
He continued, “I realized that I can’t pour water from an empty glass; I can’t be there for my career, my family, or my community if I don’t find the space to heal myself. It was a hard lesson to learn, because as women, we are often expected to be everything, to everyone, all the time. That is one of the reasons I started working with the Movement Voter Fund to create the Healing Justice Project.”
The Healing Justice Project, launched in January 2021 by Camila and the Movement Voter Fund, is a group that supports hundreds of organizations organizing their communities to increase their power and create transformation. “Through the Healing Justice Project, we empower organizers to focus on their own healing while also addressing the systemic generational violence and oppression felt by so many communities. They are constantly giving their all but rarely have the support to fill their own cup,” Camila explained in her speech. “My mental health journey showed me that no matter who you are, no matter how much you love what you do, you can’t move forward if you don’t have the resources, the time, the space and the tools to heal.”
The Cuban-born singer added: “Ultimately, the idea is simple and powerful: to heal the world, we have to be able to heal ourselves, together. And vice versa, in order to heal ourselves, we have to help heal the trauma, oppression and heartbreak that is ever present in our world.”