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Selena Gomez, Jill Biden team up to highlight youth mental health struggles

First lady Jill Biden, right, greets people followed by mental health advocate and actress Selena Gomez, after a White House Conversation on Youth Mental Health
Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press
First lady Jill Biden, right, greets people followed by mental health advocate and actress Selena Gomez, after a White House Conversation on Youth Mental Health

Selena Gomez is joining forces with first lady Jill Biden to talk mental health, calling it a “crisis that is having a profound impact on so many young Americans.”

The “Only Murders in the Building” star called it a “historic day” as she appeared alongside the first lady and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to lead a conversation at the White House on Wednesday as part of the inaugural Mental Health Youth Action Forum.

Biden told the more than 30 young mental health leaders gathered that the country has come far since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

“We’re recovering every single day. But recovery isn’t always the same as healing, and sometimes the darkness is inside of us,” Biden said.

“Over the last decade, an alarming number of young people have struggled with mental health challenges,” Biden continued.

“And the pandemic has made it so much worse: the isolation, the anxiety and, yes, the grief. They are wounds that sometimes go unseen, too often cloaked in secrecy and shame. But young people don’t have to face these challenges alone. No one does.”

“The darkness inside of us can feel heavy at times, but we can share the weight of it together. And we can help bring those feelings and experiences to the light,” Biden told the crowd in the East Room.

“I heard a phrase actually recently that I really like: That which is mentionable becomes manageable,” Gomez, 29, said.

The “Lose You to Love Me” singer and Rare Impact Fund founder, who’s been public about her mental health challenges, said, “Mental health is very personal for me.”

“I hope that by using my platform to share my own story and by working with incredible people,” Gomez said, “I can help others feel less alone and find the help that they need, which is honestly all I want.”

“We need as much help as we can possibly get developing resources and services and increasing access to those services for young people,” Gomez said.

Biden expressed hope that the event — led by the Department of Health and Human Services and MTV Entertainment and held a day before Mental Health Action Day on Thursday — would be a starting point.

“I hope that this conversation continues — that this isn’t just a one-time thing,” Biden said. “That we keep working on this, because it’s something obviously we have to work on, especially after the pandemic.”

Tags Jill Biden Mental health Selena Gomez Vivek Murthy

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