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tv   Surgeon General on Mental Health at U.S. Conference of Mayors Meeting  CSPAN  January 19, 2023 12:54am-1:09am EST

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taking a look at events thursday on c-span. republican congresswoman nancy mae's sits down with the washington post to share her thoughts on how hurt party should govern the u.s. house. and why she sometimes varies from her more conservative colleagues. that's live at 1:00 p.m. eastern. then the u.s. conference of mayors looks set issues including recruitment and retention in building please community trust another put -- critical policing issues live at 3:00 p.m. eastern. more live coverage from the u.s. conference of mayors meeting with the discussion about the impact of female leaders and what they can have on their communities and best prepare the next generation. watch these events le on c-spanc-span now our free mobileideo app, or online at c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more including comcast.
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do you think this is just a community center? no is way more than that. comcast is pardoning with 1000 committee centers to create wi-fi enabled centers so students can get the tools i need to be ready for anything. comcast supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. less surgeon general talks about the intersexual a mental health and -- intersection of mental health in communities. from the u.s. conference of mayors this is about 15 and it. -- 15 minutes. ♪ >> well thank you so much and good morning friends.
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i just deeply appreciate your partnership and friendship route my time as surgeon general, and i love working with mayors because you are the ones who get things done and who drive progress and committees all across america. i have seen that for years and very grateful for it. i know that you rarely get to pause and appreciate everything that you have done for the cities that you lead. you are often more in the business of giving credit than taking credit. as we start this morning i want to ask you to join me for a moment just closing your eyes, and i want you to think about everything that you went through during the last three years to protect your community. i want to -- i want you to think by the personal challenges you faced as you worried about family, stress and long hours, the impossible decisions. now reflect on the extraordinary good that you did for your communities.
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the individual calls that you made to support people in need. the programs that you stood up to help those who are struggling. the lifesaving initiatives that you put in place to ensure people had access to treatments, vaccines, and medical care. think about all the people whose lives are better because of what you did, and recognize that you have served with courage and honor during one of the most difficult times. you and your family have much to be proud of. you can open your eyes, and i hope that you never forget the tremendous good that you have done because i certainly never will, and i know that i'm not alone. as we start today, i want to acknowledge tony blinken, our secretary of state and my colleague in the ministration with whom it has been a great honor to serve.
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i also want to congratulate my friend mayor sheedy for her star neri leadership for being the next president -- extraordinary leadership for being the next president of the conference of mayors and sharing the task force on mental health. i am so grateful for her. i want to thank my friend and fellow miami native mayor suarez for his kind introduction, leadership of the conference of mayors over the last year. today i would like to talk about the well-being of america, where we are, and where we must go in the days ahead. for me, this story starts with my parents. my parents, like generations of immigrants who were inspired by what america stood for, the chance to dream big, the chance to work hard and make those dreams come true, the chance to be treated fairly regardless of your background or skin color,
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and the opportunity to live in a community for people looked out for each other and shared common hopes about the future. my parents knew that those ideals did not get -- yet represent reality for everyone but they wanted to live in a society where these ideals were our moral compass. this vision of america has fueled hope for millions of people over the last nearly 250 years and the belief in our ability to make progress toward these ideals has inspired so many people that all of us to public service. yet in recent decades, optimism and camaraderie have come to feel more scarce. as i travel to communities across america, people tell me as i suspect they tell you, that they are tired, stressed, and anxious about the future. they see as facing big problems from health threats and inequality to climate change and
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homelessness without the unity of purpose needed to conquer them. all of this is taking a toll on the mental and physical health of americans. it is negatively impacting how people interact with each other and how they show up at work, at school, and in their communities. perhaps most concerning is the question i hear raised often by those meet on the road about whether we are drifting further and further away from certain core beliefs that kindness matters, that we should take care of each other, and that every human being is deserving of dignity and respect. now, why is it that despite all the progress we have another fae poisoning of our dialogue. it becomes harder and harder to have an honest and nuanced conversation without being judged or attacked. often, it feels safer to just be quiet and only talk to people
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who share our views. social media platforms that were built on the promise of increasing our connections with one another have to often been used as tools by those looking to amplify conflict, anger and hate. the third factor is related. it's heavily skewed, negative information environment that is costly telling us everything that is wrong with the world. information that we are what bombarded with are too often praised and profit from things that make us feel anxious, insecure and angry. doesn't tell him us about the reasons we have to be helpful. the truth is the picture of the world that's being painted for us is incomplete. it leaves us with a sense that everything around us is broken and hopeless. hopeless. but at the heart of so much of our suffering is something more fundamental. our growing loneliness and isolation.
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being socially disconnected has profound negative consequences on health. i have seen it in my life and in patients i care for. when we have strong connections to one another, we have a lower risk of depression and anxiety, but also a lower risk of heart disease, dementia, and a sudden death. strong relationships help in other ways. they are a natural buffer against the stresses of change. they positively impact our dialogue. they serve as a positive counterpoint to the negativity we are surrounded by. i relationships also keep us together during hard times -- our relationships also keep us together during hard times. when we cannot come together during crisis, people fall through the cracks because our circles become smaller. society struggles to address
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childhood violence, hunger, and inequality because people do not feel responsible for one another . when we have strong ties with one another, we respond to crises with collective strength. we are more effective in advocating for solutions in our community. we do not turn away when others are suffering, we fight for them and they fight for us. today, we face a choice about the kind of world we want for ourselves, for our families, and for our communities. a world of growing conflict and uncertainty, where we feel increasingly on our own, or a better world that is grounded in human connection, where we respect each other, look out for each other, and strive to create opportunities for each other because we know that we are all better off when all of us prosper. choosing a better world would require us to start with two essential facts.
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one, building social infrastructure in our communities. two, strengthening relationships in our individual lives. what is social infrastructure? it comprises of programs, policies, and structures in our communities that facilitate the development of healthy relationships. decisions about the layout of our cities, usability and reach of public transportation, and designing of housing and green spaces directly affect social interaction in the community. community programs also have a powerful role to play in building relationships. programs like the high neighbor program started by tom tate. a school-based program where students help students address loneliness. and a program that creates opportunity for older men to find community through woodwork and metalwork.
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institutions that already gather residents together for work, study, prayer, volunteerism, can add to this by investing in social and emotional learning for kids, creating opportunities for workers to learn about one another in the workplace, and by gathering congregants and volunteers to engage in dialogue with community members of different backgrounds. our health care system has an important role here as well. if you can -- it can develop and open up a dialogue about loneliness and help connect those struggling to community organizations that can assist. building this social infrastructure would take all parts of community working together but as mayors, you are a position to lead the efforts by helping your community invasion, design, and implement a social infrastructure plan. social infrastructure must be
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complemented by the second factor. the individual actions we take to build and strengthen our relationships. do we make time for people in our lives? do we show up to conversations with us -- authenticity? do we approach one another with grace and forgiveness? do we reach out to others with different perspectives to listen, learn, and understand? do we help others in their moments of need? every time we take one of these steps, we add one more thread to the social fabric of our lives and communities. as mayors, you have the power to not only call for and inspires such individual action, but also to lead by example, by taking such steps in your own life. and you will be stronger people and better mayors as a result. these two components, social infrastructure and individual action, they are the keys to
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building connection and community in america. we cannot solve the challenges we face unless we face them together. and we cannot come together unless we build social connection. in the end, the movement to build a more connected nation requires us to foster a culture of connection in america. that means anchoring to a core set of human values. kindness, generosity, service, and love. these values are the foundation for a healthy relationship and they are the values we must use to guide us as we make choices as individuals, parents, leaders, and public service's -- public servants. using them will not always be easy but we are called to build a movement to mend the social fabric of our nation. by doing so, we will lay the foundation for a better life for all.
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our history tells us that when we bring our shared values to life through words and action, we can stir the conscience of america. we can open doors for help and opportunity. we can make the world more safe and free for all of us. the life and legacy of the man whose birthday we just celebrated, dr. martin luther king jr., is a testament to this truth. this is our chance to be the new generation of leaders this moment calls for. a generation defined not by age, but by spirit. the spirit of kindness and generosity and unyielding commitment to each other. and if we step up together, we will build a nation that is healthier, happier, and better poised than ever to take on the challenges that lay ahead. i look forward to doing this with


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