Politics

Joe Biden joins Selena Gomez to promote mental health agenda

The White House has enlisted pop star and actor Selena Gomez to promote mental health alongside President Biden, first lady Jill Biden and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

An online clip first shared with CNN shows the star speaking to the administration luminaries about her struggles with bipolar disorder and efforts to reduce the stigma around mental health.

“I don’t take my platform lightly. I’m not perfect, I’m human. I have things that I walk through. That’s why I feel like people like me, hopefully, can be the other side of the voice and say: I don’t have it all put together, I have had to work through this. I’ve tried everything to escape this feeling,” Ms. Gomez said.

Mr. Biden is elevating mental health as part of his broader attempts to shake off the pandemic doldrums and help Americans navigate the dark corners of social media. He says mental health should be put on the same level as physical health.

The mass school shooting in Texas on Tuesday will likely put a renewed focus on mental health, alongside the debate around gun control.

Ms. Gomez, a singer and actress, is an outspoken advocate who launched Wondermind, a platform linking people with educational tools on mental health.

“People look at you and say, look at this talented person. And she’s telling me she had a problem? Oh well, I guess that it’s OK — OK to ask for help,” Mr. Biden told Ms. Gomez in the video.

Mr. Biden has a habit of enlisting pop stars to promote agenda items.

He got Olivia Rodrigo, a 19-year-old singer who made a splash last year, to promote COVID-19 vaccinations earlier in the immunization campaign.

And BTS, the iconic South Korean boy band, will head to the White House next week to discuss anti-Asian discrimination and hate crimes.

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