Belfast Telegraph

Royals in push to lift stigma over issues of mental health

By Tony Jones

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have spoken out against the "keep quiet and carry on" culture surrounding mental health as they encouraged people to talk about their psychological problems.

William, Kate and Harry launched the next phase of their Heads Together mental health campaign by urging the nation to start a conversation with a friend, relative or stranger if they have a problem.

Speaking at a gathering of Heads Together supporters and partners in London, the Duke said: "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.

"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.

"The three of us are really optimistic that things are changing. We believe that 2017 can mark a tipping point for mental health - a moment when more and more people no longer feel they have to bear the weight alone for fear of judgment."

The royal trio spearhead Heads Together, an umbrella group of eight leading mental health organisations, which is the charity of the year for the 2017 London Marathon.

William pledged to run the 26-mile race not in the UK but in Africa when he chatted to Good Morning Britain presenter Sean Fletcher, who will be taking on the challenge in London, but he said Kate was a little sceptical.

Fletcher was among the invited guests who also included rapper Professor Green, real name Stephen Manderson, who has made programmes about the issue of mental health; Heads Together supporter and former England footballer Rio Ferdinand, and representatives from companies like Facebook, Google and Royal Mail.

The broadcaster decided to run the gruelling race for Heads Together charity partner Young Minds after his 13-year-old son was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Belfast Telegraph


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