The 61-year-old media mogul has long been applauded for her commitment to helping people feel well and whole, and now her philanthropic efforts have extended to her personal life.

"In recent years I've come face-to-face with mental illness, as several people close to me were hospitalized with severe suicidal depression and manic and schizophrenic thoughts," she revealed in the February 2016 issue of her magazine O. "More than once I've sat in the psych ward waiting to hear the diagnosis."

Winfrey feels much more can be done to support people who have been diagnosed with mental disorders, and to help promote awareness, the next edition of O magazine will include interviews with mental health professionals and patients, who open up about their experiences.

"We, as a culture, have not fully acknowledged how much help is needed," she said. "The only real shame is on us for not being willing to speak openly. We need to start talking, and we need to start now."

Winfrey has been open about struggling with body weight throughout her life, but speaking to mentally ill people has helped the star understand there's much more to dieting than worrying about how much you weigh.

"Now I'm ready to go beyond the scale and declare a new way of being in the world," she said.

Winfrey is currently the spokesperson for diet system Weight Watchers after investing in the company last year (15). Her Beyond the Scale initiative is a brand new Weight Watchers wellness programme, which provides lifestyle, exercise and nutritional support to clients.