Prince Harry: We're 'Shattering The Silence' On Mental Health Issues

By Britni de la Cretaz 11/15/17

"We are now shattering the silence that was a real barrier to progress. People are now really talking about their own well-being and how to help those around us."

Prince Harry
Photo via YouTube

Over the last year, Prince Harry has opened up about his struggles with grief and depression. He continued his crusade on Monday night, when he presented an award at the 24th Virgin Money Mind Media Awards.

Mind, a UK-based organization which advocates for improved mental health services and raises awareness about mental health issues, is one of the partner charities of Heads Together, a campaign headed by Prince Harry, 33, his brother, Prince William, and sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.

“People seem ready for a different kind of conversation on mental health,” Harry said in a speech at the awards. “Everyone was tired of stigma and scare stories around mental illness...We were all beginning to grasp that mental fitness was an issue worth talking about, for every one of us."

Earlier this year, Harry spoke to the media for the first time about how he avoided thinking with or dealing with the death of his mother, Princess Diana, when he was 12 years old. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he said, “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well.”

In his revealing Telegraph interview, he shared his experiences with therapy, and using boxing to manage his anger and aggression. “[I] started to have a few conversations and actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the 
forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with,” he said.

This summer, he elaborated when he shared his experiences with anxiety and panic attacks, which he attributed to unresolved grief. He has also advocated for therapy in addition to pharmaceutical solutions, telling doctors at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, “It seems we suffer from a culture where a pill will fix everything… Everyone is uniquely wired is what I keep saying. There is no one silver bullet, no one cure for everyone.”

In his speech at the Mind Awards, he stressed that talking about mental health issues is key to working through them and helping people to seek the help and treatment they need.

"And while just talking doesn't cure all ills, we are now shattering the silence that was a real barrier to progress," Harry said. "People are now really talking about their own well-being and how to help those around us."

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Britni de la Cretaz is a freelance writer, baseball enthusiast, and recovered alcoholic living in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @britnidlc.