China Anne McClain is an established singer and actress. However, in the last few years, she has taken a few steps back from her entertainment career to work on her mental health. The Black Lightning star has also been making deliberate efforts to help others struggling with similar issues.
In 2021, the actress spoke to Teen Vogue about her mental health advocacy efforts.
A Shattering Loss
China’s world was split in two when her best friend and co-star in Descendants (a highly successful film series by Disney), Cameron Boyce, suddenly passed away after suffering a deadly seizure. During the interview, she said this “made me step back.”
The two had been close friends on and off the set since they met when China was about 10 years old. This loss, her struggles, and her natural development led her down a new path in life. The Black Lightning actress decided to prioritize her mental health – a journey she intended to share with her fans.
Finding God and Cutting Her Hair
China admits that finding God helped her slow down and find joy in living in the moment without having to distract herself with constant work engagements. She stated, “He’s [God] the main reason why I have peace when I'm not on a set somewhere,” – after sharing that she had never been this close to Him before in her life.
China also talked about the freedom she felt after cutting her hair – a feeling she compares to her newfound relationship with God. The singer explained how she would have never made this move back when she was younger — because she used her hair as a shield. As beautiful as her hair was, she felt like she had been hiding behind it. However, the actress said that it also kept her from doing a lot of things that she wanted to do.
Mental Health Advocacy
After stepping away from Black Lightning – a move she said came from God – China felt it was time for her to share her own stories with her fans. She initially used social media as her main platform to advocate for mental health.
While talking to Teen Vogue, she said that she had a lot to tell her fans in a bid to “help a lot of these kids that are constantly tweeting me and leaving comments on my TikToks and Instagram.”
The “What’s My Name” singer saw her social media audience soar when she started sharing uplifting messages of encouragement with her fans. The actress has been able to break down complex messages into digestible bits that don’t have an overbearing element. While she does feel compelled to share her perspective without compromising on what she believes in, the actress always seems to respect the beliefs of others.
China is also working on creating a production company in conjunction with her family. The singer/actress intends to continue telling her stories advocating for mental health through the content produced under the new entity.