WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Singer and actress Demi Lovato is serious about mental health.
Lovato, 23, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 19, has been on Capitol Hill since Wednesday speaking with lawmakers about mental health disorders on behalf of the "Be Vocal: Speak Up For Mental Illness" initiative.
While speaking with MSNBC's Tamron Hall Monday, the singer said that despite mental health being primarily discussed after such tragedies as last week's mass shooting in Umpqua, Ore., those with mental illnesses are rarely the ones to hurt others.
"Unfortunately, we've had several instances where mental health has been brought to the attention by the media because of these tragedies," Lovato said. "I think it's really important to remember that actually...people with mental illness are... more likely to inflict harm on themselves and become the victim rather than be the perpetrators."
The mental health initiative is backed by organizations such as the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, the Jed Foundation, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals.
This is the first initiative supported by all five organizations at once, the website explains.
The former Disney star and "Cool For the Summer" singer believes vocalizing one's mental struggles is important to help people find treatment sooner. "I think that the more that you're vocal for yourself, and for others, the more that people can help you," she explained. "That's why it's so important that you speak up."