‘West Wing’ cast urges struggling Americans to seek help

Nov 17, 2022, 12:22 PM | Updated: 1:06 pm
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

FILE - Mike Moscrop, left, from Orange County, Calif., poses with Amir Sieidoust, an Iranian suppor...
Associated Press

Iran-US World Cup clash rife with political tension

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The last World Cup clash between the United States and Iran 24 years ago is considered one of the most politically charged matches in soccer history. This time, the political overtones are just as strong and relations perhaps even more fraught as the U.S. and Iran face off once again on […]
2 hours ago
Associated Press

Qatar, Germany sign liquefied natural gas deal amid crisis

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar and Germany signed a 15-year deal Tuesday to ship liquefied natural gas from Doha to the European economic powerhouse as it scrambles to replace Russian gas supplies that were cut during the ongoing war in Ukraine. Officials gave no dollar value for the deal, which would begin in 2026 and […]
2 hours ago
FILE - Pakistan army Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir attends a ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistan, Nov. 1, 20...
Associated Press

Pakistan’s new army chief takes charge of military

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s new military chief took command of the country’s armed forces on Tuesday amid a deepening political rift between the government and the popular opposition leader, as well as a renewed threat from a key militant group that has been behind scores of deadly attacks over 15 years. The army has historically […]
2 hours ago
A boy kisses a dog while he charges his phone at the heating tent "Point of Invincibly" in Bucha, U...
Associated Press

Ukraine’s ‘Invincibility’ centers offer refuge, resilience

BUCHA, Ukraine (AP) — Retired Ukrainian construction worker Borys Markovnikov is on the move again: This time, just a few steps from his home in the town of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, to seek shelter and warmth at a “Point of Invincibility” — a government-built help station that serves food, drinks, warmth and ultimately, resilience, […]
2 hours ago
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gestures during joint statements with Romanian President Kl...
Associated Press

NATO ministers meet to drum up more aid, arms for Ukraine

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his NATO counterparts are gathering in Romania on Tuesday to drum up urgently needed support for Ukraine, including deliveries of electrical components for the war-torn country’s devastated power transmission network. Ukraine’s grid has been battered countrywide since early October by targeted Russian strikes, in […]
2 hours ago
A man walks by policemen monitoring inside a police vehicle parked near the site of last weekend pr...
Associated Press

Chinese university students sent home amid protests

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese universities are sending students home as the ruling Communist Party tightens anti-virus controls and tries to prevent more protests after crowds angered by its severe “zero COVID” restrictions called for President Xi Jinping to resign in the biggest show of public dissent in decades. With police out in force, there was […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
‘West Wing’ cast urges struggling Americans to seek help