ICYMI: HHS and PCSFN National Press Club Headliner Event on Youth Physical Activity, Sports, and Mental Health

On Tuesday, May 28th, the U.S. Department of Health, and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health, along with members of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition (Council), discussed the challenges and opportunities for improving the mental health and well-being of Americans through physical activity.

The meeting opened with remarks from Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, who highlighted the significant role that physical activity and sports play in enhancing and maintaining the well-being of the nation’s youth. Emhoff emphasized the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to ensuring that “young people have access to mental health resources and public spaces for physical activity.”

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff stands at a podium while giving a speech.

Following the opening remarks, CNBC Correspondent Emily Wilkins hosted a panel discussion featuring Admiral Rachel Levine, MD, the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health; Brandon Gassaway, Director of Social Responsibility, Player Programs, and Diversity & Inclusion Communications at the NBA; and Council member Dr. Feranmi Okanlami of the University of Michigan.

CNBC Correspondent Emily Wilkins interviewing a panel comprised of Admiral Rachel Levine, MD, Brandon Gassaway, and Dr. Feranmi Okanlami.

The hour-long discussion covered the intersection between physical health and mental health, the need to ensure that people of all abilities have access to physical activity and fitness resources, and the importance of public-private partnerships in raising awareness and increasing participation in physical activity programs. The panel highlighted the historic partnership between the Council and major sports leagues and players' unions, which aims to engage and educate the public about fitness, nutrition and mental health.

A recording of the session can be viewed here.

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