During a White House visit, Apple TV's fictional football coach Ted Lasso urged people, even in the politically divided Washington, to check in often with friends, family, and co-workers and sincerely ask how they are doing.
Actor and comedian Jason Sudeikis, who portrays the title character, along with other cast members, met with US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden to discuss how mental health contributes to overall well-being and encouraged people to prioritise mental health and look after each other.
Mental health and looking after one another are themes of Ted Lasso, Sudeikis said during the press briefing. The show, which premiered its third season on March 15 on Apple TV+, tackles issues of bullying, anger, relationships, self-esteem, and panic attacks, delving into various characters' mental health.
Sudeikis stars as Ted Lasso, an out-of-his-depth American football coach who is recruited to lead a dysfunctional English soccer club and faces his own mental health issues.
During the White House briefing, Sudeikis emphasized the importance of asking for help, whether from a professional or a loved one, and he highlighted the need to reduce the negative stigma around mental health issues.
Biden's bipartisan "unity agenda" includes directing more resources toward mental health, and his administration has already expanded mental health resources for young people and provided nearly $500 million to help states transition to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
Sudeikis and the cast were given a tour of the president’s private living quarters and were the latest entertainers to visit the White House and associate themselves with issues that the Bidens are raising awareness about.
At its core, Ted Lasso is a show about human connections and the power of empathy. The titular character is a relentlessly positive American football coach who is hired to manage a struggling British soccer team. Through his infectious positivity and unorthodox coaching methods, Lasso transforms the team's fortunes and, in the process, helps his players deal with a range of mental health issues.
Throughout the show's two seasons, Ted Lasso tackles a variety of mental health themes with sensitivity and depth. From anxiety and depression to self-esteem and grief, the show explores these issues with nuance and care.
Perhaps most importantly, the show acknowledges that mental health struggles are not solved with a simple pep talk or a motivational speech. Instead, it portrays mental health as a complex and ongoing process that requires support, understanding, and sometimes professional help.
Ted Lasso's portrayal of mental health is a refreshing change from the traditional Hollywood tropes of toughing it out and overcoming adversity through sheer willpower. It acknowledges that mental health is a complex issue that requires ongoing care and attention, and it does so with nuance and sensitivity.
In a time when mental health is increasingly at the forefront of public discourse, the series offers hope, humor, and an honest depiction of the challenges we all face.
The Bidens have seen some of Ted Lasso and are familiar with its messages of hope and kindness, according to the White House. Other entertainers who have visited the White House and associated themselves with issues raised by the Bidens include Olivia Rodrigo, BTS, Mary J Blige, Selena Gomez, Sam Smith, and Cyndi Lauper.
New episodes of Ted Lasso Season 3 stream Wednesday’s on Apple TV+
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