"I think there are going to be things in my life that I don't talk about," she says.
" If I know it's going to have a purpose in talking about it or explain something in my past as something that I've learned that I can share with others, I'll speak about it.
The audience, however—mostly middle-aged, devoid of tweens—is not her typical demographic. Lovato is on stage in front of members of the country's leading mental health organizations for the National Council of Behavioral Health's Hill Day in Washington, D. She's answering questions from the coiffed and pinstripe suited Linda Rosenberg, the council's CEO.
And she's recalling her first time experiencing mental illness.
I was like, 'Hey, so I'm bipolar …'s why….'" The ability to get this diagnosis and level of care is what motivates Lovato in her work as a mental health advocate.
"Four out of ten people with mental illness get help," she says.
(When asked who she's excited to meet on Capitol Hill, she responds, "people on both sides of the House.") And she speaks deliberately, with a habit of taking frequent but brief pauses to ensure every word serves a purpose.