For many, Mental Health Awareness Month feels different this year.
With the Coronavirus pandemic impacting the lives of millions of Americans, many organizations are seeing an increase in demand for resources that help with anxiety, depression and other elements of mental health.
But one thing that has stayed the same is Tyler Baltierra and Catelynn Lowell‘s commitment in giving fans a honest look at their own personal struggles on and off Teen Mom OG.
“As humans, we need interaction with people. We’re kind of hard-wired that way and being home all the time and feeling isolated is a scary thing,” Catelynn shared with E! News exclusively. “I can see why that could be a huge factor in people’s mental heath. I think it’s a good thing that people are calling hotlines and reaching out because there are things and people out there that can help you.”
Tyler added, “Resources are out there and this pandemic has kind of pushed people to realize there are other options out there.”
Fans of MTV’s hit series Teen Mom OG continue to embrace the couple for their openness about the highs and lows of mental health.
Brittni Marie Photography/Four 13 Photography
Tyler has expressed his struggles with anxiety and depression while Catelynn has been open in regards to her experience with panic disorders and seeking treatment to help with childhood trauma. Both parties have also expressed the power of therapy both individually and as a couple.
And through all the experiences, the pair has been open about sharing their journey with MTV cameras and millions of strangers.
“It was a hard thing to share and hard just to get the courage to share it but I think it comes down to the fact of letting people know and showing the raw reality of it,” Catelynn explained. “That way, people know that they are not alone and that you can get help and there are things out there that can help you.”
The Conquering Chaos author continued, “After sharing all of the stuff I’ve been through, I do get lots of messages from people saying, ‘Thank you for being open and honest because I thought I was alone and nobody understood.'”
In fact, many can argue that MTV has helped remove the stigma of discussing mental health and supported many Teen Mom stars in sharing their stories.
Fans have witnessed Teen Mom 2‘s Chelsea DeBoer discuss her struggles with panic attacks while Amber Portwood has been open about her bipolar disorder.
“The viewers want authenticity. Not everyone has this perfect white picket fence life,” Tyler explained. “You can’t really experience the joy of the highs if you don’t experience the lows to compare it to.”
The CEO of Tierra Reign continued, “We told the producers from the get-go that this is very sensitive information but we feel like we have a moral, ethical responsibility with our platform to share this reality with people and I feel like the viewers have really responded with a warm, welcoming heart.”
For those looking for some tips in practicing self-care during the pandemic, Tyler says he writes a lot in his journal and works out. Meanwhile, Catelynn savors bath time—especially when her kids don’t interrupt—and listens to music.
Speaking of children, Tyler and Catelynn are determined to raise their daughters in a safe home that is big on communication.
“If our girls were to ever go through anything, we’d be their best supporters and teachers and guiders,” Catelynn shared. “We’ve been through it and I think it comes to just really communicating with your children in an honest way about what is really going on in school, what’s really going on in their friend group. That’s definitely one of my biggest fears that one of my girls is going to struggle with what I struggled with.”
Tyler added, “It’s important to stay calm and show them they have a safe place to communicate emotions because all this depression and anxiety happens when you keep everything bottled up and these kids feel like they don’t know where to go. It’s important to make children feel safe.”
And long after Mental Health Awareness Month ends, Tyler and Catelynn both know that they have the support of each other. It’s a bond and trust they both say is something you cannot take for granted.
“I told him a 100 times that I’m so, so thankful for him,” Catelynn shared when recalling her trips for treatment. “I’m glad I have a significant other like that who can understand how I felt and what I needed.”
Tyler added, “It’s my duty. It’s my job as a husband and father. If I want my kids to be happy and healthy, their parents have to be happy and healthy…I’ve had my own battles with depression and anxiety so she’s always helped me when I feel really low. She’s a high spot who can lift me back up and vice verse.”
Teen Mom OG airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. only on MTV.