LOS ANGELES-Lady GaGa has called for more to be done in supporting artists with mental health conditions.

The 32-year-old singer opened up about her own ‘’mental health crisis’’ as she accepted a patron award at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards on Thursday (08.11.18), and said she wishes there was a better system in place that could help her and other artists feel ‘’empowered’’.

She said: ‘’I began to notice that I would stare off into space and black out for seconds or minutes. I would see flashes of things I was tormented by, experiences that were filed away in my brain with ‘I’ll deal with you later’ for many years because my brain was protecting me, as science teaches us. These were also symptoms of disassociation and PTSD and I did not have a team that included mental health support.

‘’[My struggles] later morphed into physical chronic pain, fibromyalgia, panic attacks, acute trauma responses, and debilitating mental spirals that have included suicidal ideation and masochistic behaviour.’’

The ‘Million Reasons’ hitmaker suggested that SAG-AFTRA partner with her own Born This Way foundation to implement mental health programs for union members.

She added: ‘’I wish there had been a system in place to protect and guide me, a system in place to empower me to say no to things I felt I had to do, a system in place to empower me to stay away from toxic work environments or working with people who were of seriously questionable character. There were days that I struggled or couldn’t make it to work and I don’t want that for other artists or anyone.’’

Gaga described mental health issues as a ‘’crisis of epic proportions’’, and urged anybody struggling in silence to share their stories in order to help end the stigma surrounding the conditions.

In a speech which lasted over 20 minutes, the ‘Bad Romance’ singer said: ‘’We need to bring mental health into the light. We need to hare our stories so that global mental health no longer resides and festers in the darkness.

‘’It is dangerous and we know this because amongst other shootings and acts of violence just last night there was a shooting in Thousand Oaks by a veteran who was believed to have suffered from untreated post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a mental health issue.’’