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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry Work to Raise Awareness about Mental Health

     

In January, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry spoke at an awareness-raising event at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts on the latest plans for their Heads Together campaign. They have been outspoken advocates for mental health for some time. While their efforts are primarily in the United Kingdom, their influence is international.

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The Heads Together campaign, launched last April and coordinated by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, works to address stigma and promote conversation about mental health. It seeks to help people “feel more comfortable with their everyday mental well-being, feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times, and that stigma no longer prevents people getting help they need.”

The campaign’s website features a series of Conversations Films intended to show that talking to someone is a start—that “two heads are better than one”—and to help “give more people the confidence to have these conversations for the first time.”

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In February last year, Kate Middleton also guest-edited for the Huffington Post UK to promote “Young Minds Matter,” a new series focusing on children’s mental health. The series discusses problems, causes and solutions to the stigma surrounding children’s mental health, addressing topics such as preventing bullying, mindfulness in schools, homelessness and helping young people deal with trauma. And in August, Middleton helped promote the launch of a new series of podcasts, “Child in Mind,” by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. The podcasts focus on children and family mental health issues. (Available at annafreud.org, Soundcloud and iTunes)

"One in three adults still say they would be embarrassed to seek help for their child's mental health. No parent would fail to call the doctor if their child developed a fever, yet some children are tackling tough times without the support that can help them because the adults in their life are scared to ask. It doesn’t need to be like this,” the Duchess of Cambridge said at the launch of the Child in Mind podcasts.

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Speaking at a World Mental Health Day event last September, William said: “Mental health is not a dirty word – we all have mental health like we do physical health, good or ill. But not seeking help at those times when it all seems too much, or we are depressed or anxious, can impact the rest of our lives. Put simply, the three of us want to make asking for help no longer a big deal.” Prince Harry added, “It's time we ended the shame around mental health – the fear of judgment that stops people talking or getting help.”

In April 2017, the Heads Together campaign will be the charity partner for the 2017 London Marathon where several hundred runners will raise awareness and funds for the effort. The three royals are also expected to appear in an upcoming BBC documentary on mental health.

     

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