Actress Troian Bellisario credits access to mental healthcare with changing her life for good after a childhood battle with anorexia.
The Pretty Little Liars star has previously only touched upon her past eating disorder, but now she has opened up about the seriousness of her condition in a new public service announcement (PSA), in which she implores viewers to vote for U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the polls on Tuesday (08Nov16).
In the new video, filmed for issues-driven media company ATTN, Troian highlights the Democrat's lifelong efforts to improve the health care system, with an emphasis on helping those with mental illnesses.
Recalling her own experience with anorexia, she says, "With anorexia, a lot of it is presenting a front of 'everything is OK' as you're slowly killing yourself. Gone were the days when I was just a happy, carefree kid who was running around, and suddenly I felt this inability to interact with people and to nourish myself."
Troian goes on to share how her illness has influenced her voting stance.
"(Mental illness) is a huge issue, and I am such a huge supporter of Mrs. Clinton for so many reasons," she shares. "Specifically because she's been such a huge advocate for health care. And her definition of health care includes mental health care. And that to me is just - it's the deciding factor between both candidates."
The actress, 31, explains she doubts she would be alive today if she hadn't received the mental help she so desperately needed as a kid.
"If I had just been sort of shunned to the side as not having real problems, I don't know that I would be living today," she continues. "I just want to make sure that everybody has the same opportunity for treatment that I have, and I think that we have to make sure our government invests in those programs."
She concludes, "What matters is that we continue to make our voices heard in this great democracy, so please vote."
Clinton faces off with Republican Donald Trump on Tuesday to become the next U.S. President.