Prince Harry spoke out recently, the popular 32 year old royal spoke of his mother’s death 20 years ago in a car accident when he was just 12 years old and in particular walking behind the coffin live on TV with millions watching. He admitted it was one of the hardest things he had to do in his life.
Harry admitted he buried his grief for 15-17 years bravely disclosing he has “plenty of issues”. It seems hard to believe considering his family’s vast resources and wealth that he was not automatically given help to deal with the shock and grief following his mother’s death. Harry said that serving in Afghanistan made him realise he had to deal with these issues.
He sought help when he was in his late 20s on the advice of his brother William and spoke of times when being in a room full of people made him want to desperately get out of there. Harry stated he didn’t deal with his emotions very well and encouraged people suffering from mental health issues to get help instead of shutting emotions down as he did.
By speaking out Harry has brought the subject of mental health to the fore. This compassionate young man is determined to help others who suffer mental health issues and to help break the stigma attached to it. Together with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge he has launched a campaign called Heads Together to enable this stigma, prejudice and judgment to be ended, so sufferers no longer feel they have to be silent and are able to seek the help they need.
The Duke and Duchess and Harry said “Since we launched Heads Together last May, we have seen time and time again that shattering stigma on mental health starts with simple conversations. When you realise that mental health problems affect your friends, neighbours, children and spouses, the walls of judgement and prejudice around these issues begin to fall. And we all know that you cannot resolve a mental health issue by staying silent.”
Harry also spoke of his mother’s involvement in various charities and in particular taking her children to see the homeless, and mixing with ordinary people. Harry felt this helped him to relate to everyday people and their plights. He admitted creating the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style multi-sport event, where 500 wounded services armed services personal competed in sports such as basketball, archery, volleyball, swimming and track and field was very therapeutic for him too. “He said his mom would be proud of him”.
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