“I don’t take my platform lightly. I’m not perfect, I’m human. I have things I go through. That’s why I feel that people like me can hopefully be the other side of the voice and say, ‘I don’t have it all together, I’ve had to work through it.’ “I tried everything to escape this feeling,” Gomez said in a White House video that was first shared with CNN.
Biden thanked Gomez for everything she did, “to relieve the burden of people who have mental health problems who feel lost, unsure of what to do, and sometimes ashamed to admit that they have something that bothers them. Mental health is health. ”
The president told Gomez, “People are looking at you and saying, look at this talented person. And she’s telling me she had a problem? Well, I think it’s okay – okay to ask for help.”
A White House spokesman described the conversation on the terrace of the Oval Office as “sincere and intimate.”
Gomez was an outspoken mental health advocate and publicly discussed her own problems with bipolar disorder. Earlier this year, she helped launch Wondermind, a mental health platform focused on connecting people with educational resources and ending the stigma surrounding mental illness.
She recently announced during a performance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she had not been on the Internet for more than four years, calling her “happier” and “more present.”
Mental health has become a key priority for the Biden administration, part of its bipartite “unity agenda,” and this week has gained new urgency following mass shootings at Uvalde Elementary School in Texas.
During his State of the Union address earlier this year, Biden called on the United States to “take mental health” and focus in particular on “social media damage” to children.
“Let’s get all the mental health services they need. More people they can turn to for help and full parity between physical and mental health care,” he said at the time.
Biden told Gomez that his administration “focuses on working on mental health and making it accessible to people.”
White House Biden has worked with many celebrities to raise awareness of key issues. Pop star Olivia Rodrigo met with the president last year and attended a press conference aimed at strengthening the vaccination of young people against Covid. And the KTS super-group BTS will join Biden in the White House next week to talk about fighting discrimination against Asian-American and Pacific islanders.