Everyone should talk about mental health, says William in video with Lady Gaga
The royal and the pop superstar have united for a fantastic cause.
The Duke of Cambridge has teamed up with pop superstar Lady Gaga to encourage people to open up about their feelings and bring an end to the “shame” of talking about mental health issues.
In a video watched by around 15,000 people live on Facebook, William and Lady Gaga chatted about how important speaking freely about mental health can be in helping to shatter the stigma around it.
The Duke said: “It’s time that everyone speaks up and really feels very normal about mental health, it’s the same as physical health. Everybody has mental health and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it and just having a conversation with a friend or family member can really make such a difference.”
William, who with his brother Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge have championed the Heads Together campaign, has has called for an end to the “stiff upper lip” culture, saying he wants Prince George and Princess Charlotte to be able to talk about their emotions.
It comes after Prime Minister Theresa May praised Prince Harry for his bravery in revealing that he sought counselling to come to terms with the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Speaking from Kensington Palace to Lady Gaga at her home in Hollywood, William told the singer many of the issues he had seen from his work with veterans, homelessness and addiction charities stemmed from mental health issues.
And he praised her bravery in revealing through an open letter last year that she lives with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lady Gaga said her changing mental health had “changed my life” and she had been “very nervous at first” speaking about it.
She said: “For me, waking up every day and feeling sad and going on stage is something that is very hard to describe.
“There is a lot of shame attached to mental illness, you feel like something’s wrong with you.
“In my life I go, ‘oh my goodness, look at all these beautiful, wonderful things that I have, I should be so happy’, but you can’t help it if in the morning when you wake up you are so tired, you are so sad, you are so full of anxiety and the shakes that you can barely think.
“It was like saying, ‘this is a part of me and that’s OK’.”
Lady Gaga said talking more openly about mental health would allow people dealing with it to feel like “we are not hiding any more”.
She said: “Even though it was hard, (it was) the best thing that could come out of my mental illness was to share it with other people and let our generation, as well as other generations, know that if you are feeling not well in your mind that you’re not alone and that people that you think would never have a problem, do.
“We have to make the strongest, most relentless attempt we can to normalise mental health issues, so that people feel like they can come forward.”
William added: “It’s OK to have this conversation, it’s really important to have this conversation and that you won’t be judged.
“It’s so important to break open that fear and that taboo which is only going to lead to more problems down the line.”
The pair also made plans to meet when Lady Gaga comes to the UK in October, and the singer said: “We have to make the strongest, most relentless attempt we can to normalise mental health issues so that people feel like they can come forward.”