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White House hosts cast of Apple TV+'s “Ted Lasso” to discuss mental health

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(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will be hosting the cast of Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso at the White House Monday to discuss the importance of talking about mental health.

Several actors from the hit show including Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein will visit to discuss why people should address “mental health to promote overall well-being.”

Biden tweeted a suggestion to the visit Sunday with a photo of a sign that reads, “BELIEVE” above one of the doors to the Oval Office, which references the sign that the title character, played by Sudeikis, hangs above his office door.

According to a press release from the streaming service, the themes of Ted Lasso have focused on “optimism, kindness, and determination.”

The series, which saw its third season premiere last week, has also not shied away from depicting mental health struggles.

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Lasso is an American football coach who moves to England to coach a Premier League soccer team. He generally has a sunny disposition, but cracks begin to show as past trauma catches up with him.

Dr. Sharon Fieldstone, played by Sarah Niles, is brought in to help one of the team’s soccer players after a penalty kick gone wrong shakes him up. However, she soon begins to have one-on-one conversations with all the players.

Although Lasso initially resists Fieldstone’s attempts to have a session with him, he eventually visits her after experiencing a debilitating panic attack.

Over a series of sessions, Lasso and Fieldstone dig down to discover the root cause of Lasso’s anxiety.

Ted Lasso co-creator and cast member Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard, told Phil Lipof on “ABC News Live” Friday that the response from fans to Lasso entering therapy has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The feedback we’ve gotten from people on this show is so uniquely moving — and has been from the beginning for various reasons — but, when we added the therapy element, heard back from a lot of different people about how therapy has helped their lives and some people who were just finally taking the step to start therapy because of the show,” Hunt said.

In several speeches, including his most recent State of the Union in January, Biden has said one of the key proposals of his administration is improving mental health.

The administration has provided more than $500 million to help states launch the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and has distributed funds to help more schools hire mental health professionals that can connect with students either in person or via telehealth.

Biden has also called on lawmakers to pass legislation that would prevent social media companies from collecting personal data on children and teenagers as well as ban targeted advertising to children.

“President Biden has made addressing the mental health crisis a core pillar of his Unity Agenda,” the White House said in a statement. “His strategy is focused on training more providers, making care more affordable and accessible, and creating healthier and safer communities, including online.”

The White House did not immediately return ABC News’ request for comment.

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