You’ve probably already seen social media posts or read think pieces about the toll a global pandemic can take on one’s mental health. So if you’re feeling anxious or depressed, just know that this is a very normal and human response to what’s happening in the world right now. And more importantly, know that you’re not alone in this. Case in point: Jada Li’s Instagram post last Saturday (April 18).

The 18-year-old daughter of action star Jet Li took to Instagram to talk about her “long history with anxiety and major depression” and is suffering from a “pretty bad relapse” because she’s in isolation.

In her post, she wrote: “I’m so incredibly grateful to be in a position where I’m safe and secure during such an uncertain time. It’s important for me to acknowledge my privilege.”

“Isolation has really taken a toll on my mental health. I’ve had a long history with anxiety and major depression, and I’m currently experiencing a pretty bad relapse, something I thought I had left in the past.”

She added that she is “lucky enough” to have access to professional help and wants to remind others who are experiencing something similar that they are not alone.

“Mental issues like Covid-19 anxiety are real and valid. There are many good crisis hotlines and websites to turn to if you have access to the internet,” she noted as she encourages those who are healthy to “check in on your friends and loved ones and make sure they’re doing okay”.

Caught in 2004 tsunami

It’s unclear what caused Jada’s anxiety and major depression but it was previously reported that she was caught in the devastating 2004 tsunami when Jet — who holds Singapore citizenship — and his family were on a vacation in the Maldives.

According to a Reader’s Digest report, Jet and his daughters, Jane and Jada, were about to go for a swim in the hotel pool when the tsunami struck. The waters rose too quickly and while Jet managed to hoist Jane onto his shoulders, he lost his grip on Jada and their nanny.

He cried out for help, and thankfully, four bystanders jumped in and grabbed the toddler and nanny before they went under. Jane was four at that time while Jada was around one to two years old.

History of activism

Though she’s only 18, Jada has advocated for causes close to her heart.

Apart from mental health, she previously dedicated herself to charity work for the hearing impaired. In a Father’s Day post uploaded by Jet on June 2017, he said: “As you all know, my daughter Jada has dedicated herself to charity work with hearing impaired children.

“Once again she surprised me with a Happy Father’s Day message this year. The message captures the past two years since she started getting involved in this cause.”

He called it “a wonderful Father’s Day gift” and said he was proud of her.

Jada was also the reason why Jet changed his mind about taking up a role in Disney’s live-action Mulan (slated for release on July 23) where he plays the Emperor.

He had initially turned it down due to the script and pay, but Jada asked him: “When a company like Disney wants to make a movie about Chinese culture, why don’t you take part in it?”

Text: Bryan Lim / April 2020 / Asiaone
Image: Jada Li’s Instagram

Need someone to talk to? Here are some helplines: 

  • Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
  • Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
  • Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788
  • Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222
  • Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928