Wednesday, October 16, 2019
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Jonathan Van Ness Talks about How He Takes Care of His Mental Health

“I have an amazing therapist, who I talk to at least once a week.”

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It seems like Jonathan Van Ness has a few go-to techniques to take care of his mental health

In September, he revealed that he was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 25 and his struggles with mental health and addiction in his memoir “Over the Top.”

Recently, he told PEOPLE about the ways he has found to deal with “really dark, more difficult times” that he has to face in his life.

Van Ness takes care of his mental health by “knowing the resources around him and opening up to someone he trusts.”

He said, “I have an amazing therapist, who I talk to at least once a week. I’ve been working with her for years, since I was 27.”

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He also stays physically active, which he said it really helps him feel better.

Van Ness has teamed up with a dance fitness program called Zumba to celebrate World Mental Health Day and encourage people to take care of their mental health and overcome tension and pressure.

Citing from his personal experience, the star said, “Zumba is a gorgeous tool that I used in many different cities that I’ve lived in over the years. It’s like if you’re going to take some other class, you don’t necessarily know what you’re getting into, if people are going to be nice, or if it’s going to be inclusive.”

“But every time I go to Zumba class, it is community, it is fun, everyone is there to have a good time. It’s so non-judgmental. It’s so inclusive,” continued the Queer Eye star. “Anytime we can literally move our bodies, I think that it helps us to get out of our head.”

“Like if we have a critical piece about us inside of our head, or it can help us deal with anxiety, depression or loneliness. I think that moving our bodies in a community space can be really healing and fun,” added Van Ness.

Talking about his revelation of HIV diagnosis, the star said, “It’s been very heartening for me to have that support and that love, but also there’s been a pretty big indicator that this has been the tip of the iceberg of the work for me.”

“This is just the beginning of my work in advocacy,” he added. “For equality, for access to medicine for people living with HIV, for advocacy for people that are surviving sexual abuse, for people who struggle with disordered eating.” Van Ness continued, “There’s just so much misunderstanding and continued sensationalizing around these subjects that are just scary. Until someone who can have the profile that I have and can come out with their HIV status when there’s not 17,000 headlines that say like ‘devastating HIV diagnosis’ we aren’t there yet.”

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