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Demi Lovato made chairperson for 2013 Mental Health Awareness Day

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May 07, 2013 | 7:53pm EDT

Demi Lovato was in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday (07May13) to receive a special award for her efforts to help youngsters with mental health issues. The actress/singer checked into a clinic in 2010 to seek professional help for bipolar disorder, self-harming and an eating disorder, and has since spoken candidly about her problems and released a motivational documentary to help fans suffering with similar issues. In recognition of her outreach work, Lovato was chosen to be an honorary chairperson for this year's (13) Children's Mental Health Awareness Day in the U.S. and received a plaque from Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Introducing the star at a ceremony, Sebelius said, "Demi could have easily chosen to deal with her mental illness and substance abuse challenges in private. Everyone would have understood if she decided not to speak out. Instead she decided to make it her personal mission to use her experience to help other young people who are struggling with the same challenges." Lovato then gave a speech about the importance of increasing public awareness about mental health for kids and young adults.

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