Jenna Dewan is reflecting on moving forward with her life after the tragic loss of her friend and fellow dancer Stephen ‘tWitch' Boss. Dewan attended the National Alliance of Mental Illness's annual gala alongside Allison Holker Boss where she presented an award alongside Derek Hough. Before the presentation, Dewan spoke to PEOPLE on the red carpet about why she needed to be apart of this event.
“This is incredible, to have the moment to share in his love, light, and legacy. And being here to support Allison and their family I've known for so many years. They are truly the absolute best, biggest-hearted [people]. They take care of everybody else,” Dewan, 42, said.
“I just think being here to help support her and her family and moving forward from tragedy and also supporting his legacy and his love and light and what he did for the world,” she continued. “You saw how everybody really felt this and felt him and he touched so many people. So to be able to be here and honor that is really important to me.”
“I think there was an uplifting energy that he gave to other people, and I think if there's any lesson or anything we take home from this, it is what you present is not always what is the full picture,” she added. “I hope people can see that you can struggle and be strong, and being strong doesn't mean you don't struggle. I think that is important to highlight that tonight.”
The dancer spoke about the stigma associated with mental health related issues and how she's seen it first hand in her family.
“I have a lot of mental health issues in my family and our history. And so I've seen family members of mine struggle. I've seen a lot of shame around it. I've seen a lot of not wanting to comport or accept the help that is needed,” Dewan explained to PEOPLE at Friday's event. “That needs to change. We need to discuss it more. It needs to be something that is openly okay to discuss, to get help for. And I think that talking about it is really one of the main ways to do it.”
Dewan also spoke about Boss's legacy: “I do think his legacy already is love, light, bringing his incredible grace.”
Boss died in December 2022 by suicide at age 40.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.