White House Mental Health Discussion With the Cast of Ted Lasso


Ellie Gladson-Pang, Staff Writer

President Joe Biden hosted the cast of the Emmy-award winning television show Ted Lasso at the White House on Mar. 20, to open a dialogue about mental health. This popular theme on the hit Apple TV+ show has recently seen more coverage in the national conversation. Further enriching the discussion, President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden welcomed the cast to the White House briefing room for a comedic but powerful message. 

Emmy Award-winning comedian and actor Jason Sudekis, who plays the show’s namesake soccer coach, quickly filled the briefing room with laughter in a now-viral skit with his fellow cast members. A scene that could have been straight from the show unfolded between Sudekis and fellow cast member James Lance. However, Sudekis first addressed the topic for the visit perfectly.

“No matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter who you voted for,” Sudeikis said, “everyone has struggled, that’s felt isolated, that’s felt anxious, that has felt alone. And it’s actually one of the many things that — believe it or not — that we all have in common as human beings.”

Indeed, those well-spoken remarks perpetuate a pretty common sentiment in today’s society. Mental health, as a topic of open discussion, is becoming less stigmatized with younger generations, as both the news and entertainment media attempt to encourage asking for assistance with emotional, physiological, and social wellbeing. In a time with high levels of stress and anxiety for Generation Z and Millennials, celebrities and other influential advocates can make a significant impact on the common view of mental health.

“I think it’s very important for very visible public figures to speak out on mental health, because it’s been such a taboo topic in the past,” said Senior Kaitlyn Hsu. 

Sophomore Eugene Kang added, “Celebrities can cast light on the issue of mental health struggles, and that’s what opens the door to make it easier for people to talk about.”

“The big theme of the show is to check in with your neighbor, your co-worker, your friends, your family, and ask how they’re doing and listen,” Sudekis continued. “We also have to know that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help ourselves and 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.” 

Sudeikis was joined by cast members Brett Goldstein, Hannah Waddingham, Toheeb Jimoh, and Brendan Hunt. Also in the briefing room, hidden among real White House reporters, cast member James Lance portrayed the fictitious sports critic Trent Crimm. 

After his remarks, Sudekis called on Lance, standing among the White House press corps. 

He had this all-important question for Sudekis: “How do you feel about Kansas City being one of the named hosting cities for the 2026 World Cup?”

“You know what? I’m very excited,” replied Sudekis gamely. “What I am genuinely worried about is once we get all these folks from all over the world to come to Kansas City and see our city, eat our food, meet our people, you’re gonna have, you know, a lot of folks that will want to move away.”

Ted Lasso premiered its third season on Apple TV+ recently, so watch the hilarious show if you’re interested in more like this.

Finally, President Biden and the rest of the cast encourage you to follow Sudekis’ sage advice; never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. This page from Mental Health California hosts a vast wealth of resources if you’re ever in need of them. 


Photo Courtesy of UNSPLASH.COM