Kristen Bell is all about helping those in need. The actress, who is happily married to and has two children with Dax Shepard, says her husband helped her understand the importance of reaching out to those with mental health problems. Though she’s been volunteering since she was young, she learned the importance of helping people get back onto their feet after witnessing her Shepard’s own struggles with addiction.
“My family was always into community outreach and helping others. I learned to value that at a very young age. I learned to find joy in lending a hand and lending support to those who need it. And I was taught to view all humans as a part of my family,” she tells E! News.
“I have a particular affinity towards helping people who feel outcast whether they’ve made mistakes, like having past felony convictions or recovering addicts,” she explains. “My husband is in recovery and is almost 13 years sober. And seeing the world through his eyes has really opened mine to knowing that it is a disease and nobody is choosing to drink more than others, they are doing it because of a variety of reasons and they deserve the attention of a mental health professional, and not the county jail or however else we’re choosing to pretend we’re fixing the problem.”
Earlier this year, Shepard revealed that his issues with addiction most likely stemmed from being molested at a young age. According to the actor, he was sexually abused when he was seven by an 18-year-old neighbor.
“If you’ve been molested, you only have a 20 percent chance of not being an addict,” Shepard told Sirius XM’s The Jason Ellis Show. “And I was like, ‘Hm, interesting,’ because in my mind I just like to have a fucking great time. But when you hear a statistic like that, I’m like, ‘Oh no, I was going to be an addict. Period.’”
For Bell, 35, she wants her daughters — Lincoln, 3, and Delta, 1 — to learn to treat everyone with respect and kindness.
“I am trying to teach my kids not be stunted by country lines, language barriers, or religious boundaries. And that all human beings, and everyone in the world is part of someone’s family and they should be treated as such,” she explains. “It’s so simple to get caught up in lines that divide us. Why are you different? I think it’s important to remind ourselves that we are all the same and everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.”