Jill Biden and Selena Gomez lead talk on youth mental health

The pair were at the White House on Wednesday for a special talk in the East Room

US first lady Jill Biden holds hands with youth mental health advocate Ayanna Kelly, right, as they arrive at the White House, with (from left), Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy and actress Selena Gomez. AP Photo
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Selena Gomez joined the first lady Jill Biden and US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy at the White House on Wednesday for a conversation about youth mental health.

The singer has been public about her struggles and revealed in 2020 that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Biden, Murthy and Gomez held a conversation in the East Room with several young people, including a mother and a recent Rutgers Univesity graduate, who shared how they had improved their mental outlook.

The strategies they shared ranged from going through several therapists to find one who is right for you, to using baking as a way to encourage conversation with others facing similar challenges.

“Mental health is very personal for me and I hope that by using my platform to share my own story ... I can help others feel less alone,” Gomez said.

Biden praised the participants for sharing.

“It takes courage to, you know, be honest about the struggles that you faced and to tell your stories,” the first lady said. “And it takes courage to understand that your voice can make a difference and to show your creativity and talents, you know, to all of the world.”

Murthy said open conversation will help change “hearts and minds” and help remove the stigma associated with mental health.

MTV Entertainment sponsored the conversation in advance of the second Mental Health Action Day on Thursday.

- Reporting by Associated Press

Updated: May 19, 2022, 10:17 AM
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