Prince William and Prince Harry Join Kate Middleton in New Mental Health Initiative

By McCarton Ackerman 01/19/17

The royal trio are partnering for an initiative that aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in the UK. 

Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Prince William.

The royal family is kicking off 2017 with a high-profile campaign addressing mental health in the UK.

Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, launched the Heads Together campaign in order to change the conversation about mental health in the country. ABC News reported that the trio held a press conference on Tuesday (Jan. 17), urging Brits to be more vocal about their struggles with mental health without fear of judgment from others.

"There are times when, whoever we are, it is hard to cope with challenge—and when that happens being open and honest and asking for help is life-changing," said William. "Talking to someone else is a positive and confident step to take, but for too long it has been a case of ‘Keep Quiet and Carry On.’ As a result, too many people have suffered in silence for too long, and the effects of this can be devastating.”

Kate reiterated the importance of sharing mental health struggles with others, noting that "two heads are better than one." She said their work aims to help reduce the stigma around mental illness and mental health issues, and encourage fellow Brits to begin “thinking about it as we do our physical health.” Harry added that “in the past, the phrase ‘mental health’ would be translated to mental illness. But thankfully that is changing” in the UK.

“William, Harry and I have been very privileged to witness in the course of our work countless examples of simple conversations that have changed lives,” said Kate, “which were the first step on a path to recovery.”

Kate has also been working to address drug and alcohol addiction in the UK. In April 2013, she launched a counseling program called M-PACT, which works with kids whose parents have substance use issues. She has also toured a dry bar in the city of Liverpool, visited a rehab center and met with recovering drug users.

"I feel fortunate to have met a wide range of inspirational people who have overcome addiction. But those who are addicted are not the only victims. I have been struck by the profound and deeply damaging impact it has on the children of affected parents,” said Kate at the launch of her program. “My hope is that through this specialist and targeted delivery of care, these children will have the best possible start in life—the one that they deserve."

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.