Jason Sudeikis on why 'Ted Lasso' decided to tackle mental health

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Jason Sudeikis
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By , Audacy

After sweeping the 73rd annual EMMY awards, Jason Sudeikis is discussing how mental health awareness has always been engrained in Ted Lasso.

The Apple TV+ show, which scored the EMMY for Outstanding Comedy Series this year, has always been about mentorship and team success, but now Sudeikis is pointing out how mental health has always played a crucial role amidst the cast of Ted Lasso characters.

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The actor who plays Lasso, told Us Weekly at an Abbott and Real Madrid event, “In regard to the mental health stuff, it was just there. It’s been there forever but it’s really come up a lot in just knowing where the characters were headed and how important it is to work on yourself to help your team.”

“And I think that we were trying to explore that and personify it in a way and kind of trojan horse that there’s bigger issues in this fun, silly little comedy show,” Sudeikis added.

The light-hearted comedy introduced mental health topics during the show’s first season as Ted was depicted struggling with panic attacks. Later on, in the show he gets candid with his AFC Richmond teammates, revealing that his father died by suicide. Eventually, Lasso begins therapy.

Sudeikis shared that viewers have responded well to the conversation around mental health within Ted Lasso. He noted, “Myself and other people in the cast and the writing staff get messages daily from people thanking them for really opening their eyes to what it means to go to therapy and what it means for someone in their own life to go to therapy and just speaking about these things and taking the stigma off of any form of health whether it be nutrition or mental, emotional health. Anything that you can do to help yourself helps those around you.”

As a whole, Sudeikis has shared how the TV series has changed his life. He explained, “Ted Lasso’s provided a tremendous opportunity to work with people near and dear to me, but then also to kind of get some of my personal thoughts, feelings, and philosophies about life and working with one another and working with a family both the one you are born into and the one you choose to be around. And kind of hide those messages in and around the jokes and the football. That’s been a big part of it.”

“I get paid to do it so that helps things too. But it’s really been about watching it affect other people’s lives that both work on it behind-the-scenes and on-camera. But also something we could have never anticipated is the way it’s affected people that are watching it. It’s really been something else to hear about,” concluded the actor.

Audacy's I’m Listening initiative aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255.

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