Don't Keep Quiet: Prince Williams Urges People to Discuss Mental Illness

Don't keep quiet: Prince Williams urges people to discuss mental illness

The royals are continuing to put their Heads Together on the issue of mental health.

Prince William, Duchess Kate and Prince Harry held a briefing for their Heads Together initiative on Tuesday, ahead of the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon. The mental health awareness and destigmatization campaign was selected as the charity of the year for the marathon, prompting the royals to stage the talk steps away from the marathon’s finish line.

During the event, the Duke of Cambridge urged people not to "keep quiet and carry on" but to speak out.

There are times when, whoever we are, it is hard to cope with challenges – and when that happens, being open and honest and asking for help is life-changing," Prince William said. "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.

Prince William went on to express his hope that 2017 will mark a tipping point in the dialogue surrounding mental health, "a moment when more and more people no longer feel they have to bear the weight alone for fear of judgment."

However, as Duchess Kate noted, "the challenge that so many people have is not knowing how to take that first step of reaching out to another person for help. ...Fear, or reticence, or a sense of not wanting to burden another, means that people suffer in silence – allowing the problem to grow larger and larger unchecked."

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, which were the first step on a path to recovery," she said. "Just last week at the Anna Freud Centre, I heard from one mother how talking to a support worker was – in her words – like medicine. Simply by having someone there to have a conversation with helped her immensely. So the question that William, Harry and I have asked ourselves is, 'How we can get more people to start talking? How do we encourage people to take the first step?'

Duchess Kate then shared Heads Together's proposal: Amplifying the stories of people who have grappled with mental health issues and who have found relief through sharing their experiences.

"We hope that these real-life examples will serve as encouragement to others to do the same," she said.

Taking the podium next, Prince Harry added that the Heads Together team was open to any suggestions or help from those in attendance. "We need as many people as possible – famous or not – who can help showcase what it's like to have a conversation with a friend, family or stranger," he said. "All your ideas are welcome."

Following the event, the royals mingled with London Marathon runners, athletes and other advocates. Duchess Kate remained a standout, lighting up the room — and the mood — in an Evita black lily collage frock by designer favorite, Erdem.

Source: USA Today

Categories: Seeking Help