Harry hails public for ‘shattering silence’ around mental health
Prince Harry has campaigned for mental health issues alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Prince Harry has hailed the British public and the media for “shattering the silence” around mental health.
Harry praised people for speaking about their own wellbeing and trying to help those around them, as he addressed the Mind Media Awards in London.
He was welcomed with cheers and applause as he braved the cold to make his red carpet arrival in Leicester Square on Monday evening.
Charity president Stephen Fry said it had been a “remarkable, perhaps breakthrough, year, for mental health awareness”, and Harry said he, alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, had sensed “the country was on the cusp of something special” at the beginning of 2017.
The royals launched Heads Together, a campaign to tackle stigma around the issue, and Fry said their focus had had an “astonishing” impact in “getting the nation talking”.
He added: “I think we can all agree that their so clearly passionate advocacy, energy and commitment has made the most extraordinary and welcome difference in the entire field of mental health in this country.”
Ceremony host and Mind ambassador Fearne Cotton, who has previously spoken out on her own experiences with depression, joked that her “slightly wobbly brain” had in the past hindered her at work, but on this occasion it got her the job.
Harry presented the Speaking Out award to 10 people who took part in the BBC Mind Over Marathon documentary.
The winners, who all received a hug from the prince, had lived with or been affected by mental health issues and trained together to compete in this year’s London marathon.
Tonights' #VMGMindAwards prize for Speaking Out goes to the ten runners from the BBC documentary, Mind Over Marathon, and was presented by Prince Harry> https://t.co/Arb67WUiR0 pic.twitter.com/7K3Ljl5U7m— Mind (@MindCharity) November 13, 2017
Presenting the award, Harry told the audience: “They overcame their own fears and challenges and in the process, inspired every single one of us.”
He commended the public and the media for getting behind their campaign.
He said: “In classrooms, in workplaces, around the dinner table, between friends, and even between strangers, people are now really talking about their own wellbeing and how to help those around us.
“And while just talking doesn’t cure all ills, we are now shattering the silence that was a real barrier to progress.”
'I wanted to come here tonight to say thank you...We are now shattering the silence that was a barrier to change. I would especially like to thank the people who were brave enough to share their personal stories with the public'- Prince Harry at #VMGMindAwards pic.twitter.com/CHUd0lh3ls— Mind (@MindCharity) November 13, 2017
He added: “We are grateful that so many in the media got behind the Heads Together campaign – you helped make it the success it has been.
“But the biggest thanks has to go to the British public. You embraced it, you engaged with it and you normalised it.”
Other award winners included ITV drama Cold Feet for its storyline on the depression suffered by character Pete, played by John Thomson.
Among those gathered at the Odeon cinema ceremony were singers George Ezra and Frankie Bridge and television presenter Lorraine Kelly.