Getty Images

Kristen Bell is known for her roles in Veronica Mars, Frozen, and The Good Place. But perhaps her most influential role to date is as an outspoken mental-health advocate. In the past couple years, Kristen has been very open about her personal challenges with anxiety and depression, and emphasized time and time again that there’s absolutely no shame in mental illness. And progressing that conversation is so important, considering nearly one in five Americans suffers from mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, yet many don’t seek help due to stigma.

(Get full-length yoga workouts that will help promote mental well-being with WH’s With Yoga DVD!)

Considering her public transparency on the topic, we couldn’t help but wonder: How does this inspiring actress and mother of two (with adorable hubby Dax Shepard) talk to her own kids about mental health? We recently caught up with Kristen at the launch of Naked Juice’s #DrinkGoodDoGood campaign, and asked how she plans to approach the topic of mental illness with her young children.

This is what it’s like to suffer from depression:

“Probably the same way my mom did with me,” Kristen says. “I’ll take notice if my kids are moody or struggling.”

In an interview on Off Camera with Sam Jones last year, Kristen said she owes much of her strength and honesty about mental illness to her mom, who told her at a young age she comes from a line of women with “seratonin imbalance,” meaning she’s prone to anxiety and depression.

“[My mom’s] a nurse and she had the wherewithal to recognize that in herself when she was feeling it and when I was 18 said, ‘If you start to feel like you are twisting things around you, and you feel like there is no sunlight around you, and you are paralyzed with fear, this is what it is and here’s how you can help yourself,” Kristen said in the interview.

She also tells Women’s Health that both she and Dax are all about maintaining an open and honest household, and plan to keep it up as their kids get older, too. “I’ll make sure our dialogue around the house is what it has been for a while, which is that vulnerability equals strength,” she says. She notes that her and Dax aim to lead by example: “Whether it’s daddy who goes to AA or mommy who has mental health she has to check in with it.”

And, according to the actress, vulnerability really is the biggest factor in opening up the conversation—whether it’s with kids or anyone, for that matter: “You have to talk about your vulnerabilities with no shame.”

Tags: celebrity momsmental health