GENEVA – The World Health Organization’s director general named on Monday Cynthia Germanotta, the mother of Lady Gaga, as its latest goodwill ambassador for mental health during the inauguration of its annual assembly.
Germanotta, who has been running the Born This Way foundation along with her daughter since 2012, attended the opening session of the World Health Assembly in the Swiss city of Geneva.
“I’m honored to serve as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Mental Health and to work alongside Tedros (Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general) and his extraordinary team to ensure mental health for all is a global priority.
“We face many challenges but there are even more reasons for hope,” tweeted Germanotta after her appointment.
The new ambassador will support the organization on international campaigns in a bid to raise awareness about mental illnesses.
Germanotta has become a well-known activist at the front of the foundation, named after one of Lady Gaga’s most famous songs, which allowed her to present the “United For Global Mental Health” initiative at the UN General Assembly last year.
The WHO chief also announced Brazil’s Alisson Becker, goalkeeper of Liverpool FC, and his wife Natalia Loewe Becker had been chosen as the next goodwill ambassadors for health promotion.
“We are honored to be appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassadors for health promotion,” the soccer player tweeted.
“We are determined to work with WHO to promote health for all & to motivate the football community.”
And the former president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, became the WHO’s goodwill ambassador for the health workforce.
“Each of our new ambassadors are champions in their own right, from helping their communities rebuild and develop sustainably, to fighting for better mental health and wellbeing, to being role models for healthier living,” the WHO general director said in a statement.