Just days after Roseanne star Emma Kenney announced that she is “seeking treatment for my battles,” her co-star and on-screen mom, Sara Gilbert, has spoken out about the news. During the Thursday, April 12 episode of The Talk, the co-host praised Emma’s incredible strength. “I first want to say, Emma, I’m so proud of you. I know that the whole cast and crew are so proud of you,” Sara began. “And it takes a lot of courage to — we have a lot of demons — it takes a lot of courage to face them, particularly at 18. I envy you.”
The 43-year-old continued, “If I could go back to being 18 and start doing things to better myself at the pace you’re doing, I would be a better person today. So, I commend you, I love you, and I know you will come out the other side. Thank you for speaking up and being an example for other people.”
After directly addressing Emma, Sara then encouraged everyone to reach out for help if they need it. “Friends, therapists, whoever, you just reach out to people and say I need a hand, I’m not doing well with this right now or this,” she added. “And I think that’s nothing to be ashamed of and she’s setting a great example for people.”
The 18-year-old actress previously revealed to In Touch that she would be voluntarily seeking treatment, but didn’t give exact specifics of what type of treatment she’d receive. “I’m going to work through it. I’m going to get help and make better choices,” she said.
Emma — who began acting at age 10 and has appeared on Showtime’s Shameless since 2011 — recently revealed that she’s been struggling with the dark side of child stardom. “I was running with a really fast crowd. I was being naive and very immature, and I was doing things I should not be doing because it was illegal and I’m not 21,” she said. “It wasn’t healthy, and it was making me feel even worse — anxious and depressed. It was just a slippery slope that I did not want to go down. And I knew that I needed to stop it.”
Though Emma says her issues have not affected her work, her private life has suffered. “I just didn’t know how to deal with stress, so I would have an occasional wild night. I would go out to clubs and bars with older friends in Hollywood,” she explained.
“Now, in treatment, I will work on finding other ways to cope with boredom, find hobbies, and better learn how to deal with stress,” she continued, adding that her parents, closest friends, and co-stars have been supportive. “I just think I need a mental sanity break and a break from the Hollywood scene.”
On Monday, April 9, the young actress also shared via Twitter that she’d be taking a break from social media for some time. “Hello and goodbye (for a bit). I’ve decided to take a break from social media and LA for a minute. This sounds so cliche but this town and industry can really get to you. Going to re-find my peace happiness,” she wrote.
Emma said she’s speaking out because she wants to help others who are struggling. “I just want to send a message to my fans saying that it’s OK to admit that you need help, and it doesn’t make you weak,” she shared. “I know I’m making the right choice by going to treatment, and I’m going to come out the other side the right Emma, the true Emma that I’ve always been.” No word yet on what Emma’s plan is for continuing her TV roles. She is expected to film a new season of her other hit show Shameless starting in May followed by another season of the Roseanne reboot. We just hope she feels better and subsequently returns to the small screen.