KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Rosé of K-pop girl group Blackpink and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail were part of a mental health talk at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit yesterday (November 17).
The mental health awareness event was held at Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California and was hosted by US First Lady Jill Biden.
The discussion was part of a series of events hosted by Biden for the spouses of Asia-Pacific leaders attending the summit.
Among the other guests were Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook, US Health Governor Vivek Murthy, South Korean First Lady Kim Keon-hee and Philippines First Lady Liza Marcos.
During the talk, the singer stressed the importance of speaking out about emotional struggles, especially by people who work in the public eye, AP reported.
“Just as we feed ourselves for better health and fitness, mental health can only be maintained equally — if not more intentionally — as our physical well being,” she said.
“I do feel like some of the things I do is just never enough, and no matter how hard I work on something, there’s always gonna be somebody who has their own opinion or who enjoy taking control of the narrative, and so that comes to me as a sense of loneliness.”
The K-pop star revealed the pressures people who have large followings on social media encounter, especially when faced with harsh criticism.
In her speech, Rosé hoped that her music would be able to inspire and comfort its listeners and remind them that true self-worth comes from within.
BLACKPINK's #ROSÉ as the speaker for the APEC Mental Health Discussion at Apple Park, at the invitation of Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady of the United States! APEC SPEAKER ROSÉ pic.twitter.com/Z27DuYtORA— SK POP (@SKPopCulture) November 17, 2023
Meanwhile, Dr Wan Azizah said that artificial intelligence and manipulation could affect people’s mental health and questioned Cook on Apple’s technology to protect people’s information.
“If you’ve ever had an Apple watch, you are being watched all the time,” said the Prime Minister's wife.
Cook defended the tech giant by refuting Wan Azizah’s claims. "We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right,” Cook said.
Biden encouraged more people to speak out on mental health issues using the ‘power of honesty’.
The US First Lady said that many of the students at community colleges where she teaches were struggling with anxiety and isolation after the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Too often, these issues are hidden, swept under the rug and ignored. But when we bring them into the light, when we talk about them openly, we can begin to heal,” Biden said.