Chiara de Blasio, daughter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, first confessed about her struggles with drug addiction and mental health problems via a video she posted on YouTube last December. The teenager related that she has suffered from depression her entire adolescence and that she has sought help for her mental health and substance abuse problems.
On Tuesday, de Blasio opened up about her struggles once again, but this time, as honorary chairperson of the National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. Speaking about her triumph over addiction and depression at an event organized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA ) in Maryland, de Blasio said that a year ago, she would not have thought it possible to stand before the audience as a sober and healthy person as she was then overwhelmed with depression, addiction, anxiety and fear.
"One year ago, I could not have imagined I would be standing before you today as a sober and healthy young woman," she said. "One year later, here I am and that is nothing other than a miracle."
The 19-year-old travelled with her parents to Maryland to accept a "special recognition" awarded to her by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The award, which de Blasio received from HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius, is given to individuals who serve as role models for youth struggling with mental health problems and addiction. Past honorees of the award include Cyndi Lauper and Demi Lovato.
In her speech, de Blasio, who attends a college in California, thanked her father New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and mother Chirlane McCray for their support and endless dedication saying that her father, despite running the largest city in America, was still able to give her more love and support that she needs.
De Blasio also acknowledged her brother Dante, who was not able to come to the ceremony and mental health professionals.
"Thank you to every single person in recovery -- no matter who you are, no matter how long you've been in recovery, be it one day or 20 years," she said. "You are carrying the message that we don't have to live like that anymore."