'Ted Lasso''s Jason Sudeikis Kicked Off an Important Mental Health Conversation at the White House

Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis used his White House visit to impart a vital message about mental health.

The 47-year-old actor — who plays the show’s title character, a soccer coach — recently spoke to President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden about the importance of mental health as a facet of people’s overall wellbeing. Joined by some of his Ted Lasso co-stars, including Brett Goldstein and Hannah Waddingham, Sudeikis encouraged folks to “ask people how they’re doing, and listen, sincerely.”

“While it’s easier said than done, we also have to know that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help ourselves,” Sudeikis told federal officials, per the Associated Press. “That does take a lot, especially when it’s something that has such a negative stigma to it, such as mental health. And it doesn’t need to be that way.”

“And if you can ask for that help from a professional, fantastic,” the actor continued. “If it needs to be a loved one, equally as good, in a lot of ways.”

Mental health is a key part of Biden’s bipartisan political agenda. Last October, the Biden-Harris administration announced plans to expand access to 24/7 mental health care via increased funding. Officials have also introduced a new crisis and suicide prevention hotline and placed more mental health professionals in schools.

The Ted Lasso tie-in here is fitting, too. The Emmy-winning Apple TV+ series, which just kicked off its third season, also deals with themes like mental health and community care. Its feel-good vibe has resonated with viewers — including the Bidens themselves, who’ve seen some episodes from the series, White House reps told AP.

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“No matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter who you voted for, we all probably, I assume, we all know someone who has, or have been that someone ourselves actually, that’s struggled, that’s felt isolated, that’s felt anxious, that has felt alone,” Sudeikis added. “That means it’s something that we can all, you know, and should, talk about with one another when we’re feeling that way or when we recognize that in someone feeling that way.”

Sudeikis joins a growing number of public figures who are passionate about mental health advocacy.

Although an estimated one in five Americans live with mental illnesses, these conditions are still shrouded in stigma, which prevents people who are suffering from seeking professional help. It’s especially true for people from marginalized communities, who face additional barriers when attempting to access mental health care. This crisis has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some celebrities have also opened up about their personal struggles with depression — and their journeys pursuing therapy — in the hopes of encouraging other people to get the mental health care they need.

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