We are made to connect

On Nov. 13, 2023, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy held a conversation with ASU students on how connectedness can improve well-being and combat the epidemic of loneliness.

Recognizing the significant distress that loneliness, social isolation and mental health pose to college-age Americans, Dr. Murthy, launched the national “We Are Made to Connect Tour," visiting colleges across the country to talk to students about how they can incorporate moments of connection into their daily lives to help improve mental health and well-being.

The surgeon general, who was ASU's 2023 spring commencement speaker, was joined by ASU student and Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles for this important discussion.


Watch the conversation

(The conversation was made possible by the ASU Office of the Executive Vice President and University Provost and the ASU WellnessWork Advisory Board.)

Surgeon general

About U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy

Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2021 to serve as the 21st Surgeon General of the United States. As the nation’s top doctor, Dr. Murthy helps to advance the health and well-being of all Americans and has worked to address critical public health issues. He has issued Surgeon General Advisories on the youth mental health crisis and social media’s impact on youth mental health, the epidemic of loneliness and isolation, and burnout in the health worker community. Dr. Murthy also issued a Surgeon General’s Framework on mental health in the workplace and is the first Surgeon General to host a podcast, House Calls with Dr. Vivek Murthy, where he invites guests and listeners to explore how we can all build more connected and meaningful lives.

Dr. Murthy previously served as the 19th Surgeon General under President Obama. Raised in Miami, Dr. Murthy received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard, his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine and his Master of Business Administration from the Yale School of Management. 

Surgeon general

About ASU student and 2022 Miss America Emma Broyles

Emma Broyles is a senior studying biomedical sciences in Barrett, The Honors College at ASU with a minor in voice performance. Her goal is to pursue medical school and become a dermatologist. 

In 2022, Emma became the first Miss Alaska and the first Korean American to be crowned Miss America. During her year as Miss America, she traveled nearly 20,000 miles a month to advocate for causes she supports, including the Special Olympics. 

Emma believes in maintaining transparency as a public figure and has used her platform to bring awareness to youth mental health.

Being vulnerable about my own experiences allows me to connect with those who may have had or are experiencing struggles of their own. You are never alone!

Emma Broyles

Have a friend in need? Learn how to A.S.K.
(Acknowledge. Support. Keep-in-touch.)

activeminds mtv

Prior to the surgeon general’s conversation, MTV and Active Minds hosted an ASKtivation to help students learn how best to support friends, family, colleagues and other people in their lives. Learn more at www.asktohelp.com.

Recommended resources

Watch the surgeon general’s spring 2023 commencement address to ASU graduates on the importance of connection for our mental and emotional well-being.


Read the Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Health Effects of Social Connection and Community, and how loneliness and isolation are impacting so many across the U.S.

Our experts on mental health awareness

Internal Experience of Mental Health

Connecting with others

Building Community

Roadmap of Support

Well-being Strategies



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