‘West Wing’ cast urges struggling Americans to seek help

Nov 16, 2022, 9:22 PM | Updated: Nov 17, 2022, 11:55 am
FILE - This combination photo shows the cast of the award-winning White House television drama, "Th...

FILE - This combination photo shows the cast of the award-winning White House television drama, "The West Wing", from left, Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford and Dule Hill. As more Americans struggle with depression and anxiety, the cast of “The West Wing” teamed up with the Biden administration on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, to share a simple message: you are not alone. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — As more Americans struggle with depression and anxiety, the cast of “The West Wing” teamed up with the Biden administration on Thursday to share a simple message: you are not alone.

The star-studded cast of the drama series that, even years after being off air maintains a strong fan base, participated in a roundtable discussion with the White House to share their own stories of childhood abuse, isolation during the COVID-19 and struggles to help their children navigate the anxiety-inducing world of social media.

Through it all, five members of “The West Wing” cast said that talking with friends, family and even each other got them through darkest moments.

“Community is the key to all of this,” said actor Martin Sheen, who served as the U.S. president on the drama series.

Actor Bradley Whitford, who played the role of the president’s deputy chief of staff on the TV show, opened up publicly about a female teacher who he said was “physically, extensively inappropriate” with him decades ago when he was in sixth grade.

“I knew it had happened, but I didn’t know how to talk about it,” Whitford said. “I was able to find a very, very safe space where I could talk about it. I’ll never get rid of the fact that this thing happened to me, but giving it a name, giving it perspective, has allowed to me to not still be captive to it.”

Whitford and his castmates urged other Americans who are struggling with their mental health to lean on those closest about their tough times, too. About 4 out of every 10 U.S. adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression last year, a trend that took a turn for the worse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zooming in from the set of “The Wonder Years” reboot, actor Dulé Hill said he struggled with isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s important we all just continue to engage each other, to see each other and our humanity,” Hill said. “I can still feel isolated and alone. But I want you to know you are not alone. I am not alone, and together, we will make our way to our brighter tomorrow.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra reminded those tuning into the talk that they can also call the newly launched 988 hotline to talk to someone when they are struggling with thoughts of suicide, a crisis or depression.

The three-digit 988 line connects callers with trained mental health counselors. The federal government has provided over $280 million to help states create the system.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Today in History: November 26, the NHL is founded

Today in History Today is Saturday, Nov. 26, the 330th day of 2022. There are 35 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 26, 1950, China entered the Korean War, launching a counteroffensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the U.S. and South Korea. On this date: In 1825, the first […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Head of Haiti’s police academy killed at training facility

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The director of Haiti’s National Police Academy was shot and killed at the doors of a police training facility in a gang-controlled neighborhood in the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince, Haitian police said Friday night. The killing of Harington Rigaud is just the latest in a number of attacks against law enforcement, […]
22 hours ago
FILE - A hippo floats in the lagoon at Hacienda Napoles Park, once the private estate of drug kingp...
Associated Press

Wildlife conference boosts protection for sharks, turtles

PANAMA CITY (AP) — An international wildlife conference moved to enact some of the most significant protection for shark species targeted in the fin trade and scores of turtles, lizards and frogs whose numbers are being decimated by the pet trade. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

‘Miracle’: Missing cruise ship passenger found OK in water

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says a passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued on Thanksgiving after likely being in the water for hours. The 28-year-old man was reported missing at noon Thursday while the vessel, the Carnival Valor, was heading to Cozumel, Mexico. […]
22 hours ago
Local residents' temperatures are checked before casting their ballots at a polling station in New ...
Associated Press

Taiwan votes on lower voting age, mayors, city councils

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Voters headed to the polls across Taiwan in a closely watched local election Saturday that will determine the strength of the island’s major political parties ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Taiwanese citizens will be picking their mayors, city council members and other local leaders in all 13 counties and in […]
22 hours ago
President Joe Biden removes his hat as he is recognized during the annual Christmas Tree Lighting c...
Associated Press

Biden, family attend Christmas tree lighting on Nantucket

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — The Biden family’s tradition of eating lunch, shopping and watching a Christmas tree lighting in downtown Nantucket on Friday became mostly about keeping the president’s 2-year-old grandson from having a meltdown. There was President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley, dancing and clapping with nephew Beau to “Jingle Bell Rock” to keep him […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
‘West Wing’ cast urges struggling Americans to seek help