The royal family is shining a light on mental health issues. Kate Middleton, Prince William, and Prince Harry are putting their platform to good use. They launched a new social media series called #OkToSay, which highlights people speaking out about their mental health struggles. It’s all an effort to end the stigma associated with mental health.
The project is part of the royal campaign, Heads Together, which strives to put an end to the stigma associated with mental health. It also supports the homeless, the youth, and veterans who have been struggling with their psychological well-being, according to Dr. Oz’s The Good Life blog.
There are currently 12 short films available on the organization’s YouTube account. Each of the short films features celebrities and regular people who reveal how they came to terms with their mental health. In one video, a model named Adwoa Aboah and her mother talk about her attempted suicide and how she dealt with depression and bipolar disorder.
In another video, former soccer player Rio Ferdinand speaks to his agent about how he dealt with the loss of his wife who died from breast cancer in 2015.
The third video stars actress Ruby Wax who talks to her husband about her struggles with mental health and how others can take charge of their mental illness. Other videos show former England cricket captain Andrew Flintoff, former Prime Minister Tony Blaire’s spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, talking about their experiences with anxiety and depression.
The royals released a statement saying they hope to end the stigma associated with mental health, according to Newsday. They feel that these problems need to be talked about more often. It also shouldn’t be shameful to admit your mental health struggles.
“When you realize that mental health problems affect your friends, neighbors, children and spouses, the walls of judgment and prejudice around these issues begin to fall,” they said.
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, said that these public ad campaigns have become more impactful when celebrities promote them.
“Princes William and Harry speak from their experience of loss and sorry,” she said in an interview with the Associated Press.
Prince Harry has been doing his part to end the stigma. He completed a course in helping those with mental health struggles, according to People. Harry underwent two days of training to help mental health sufferers when he volunteered at the British Army’s Personal Recovery Unit last year.
“It ran through the range of options that veterans face,” a source close to the royal family told the outlet.
Kate and William have also been expanding in that area. William has watched professionals in the mental health sector. Meanwhile, Kate has spoken out about mental health struggles and the issues that families and children face. She recently spoke candidly about the “overwhelming experience” of motherhood at a recent mental health advocacy event, reports Fox News.
Middleton addressed that while being a parent is “rewarding and wonderful,” it does come with its share of struggles.
“Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience. However, at times it has also been a huge challenge. Even for me, who has support at home that most mothers do not.”
“Nothing can really prepare you for the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother,” she continued. “It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love and worry – all mixed together. Your fundamental identity changes overnight. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost.”
Kate said that since “there is no rule book,” it can add to the stress of being a first-time parent. She revealed that even she felt “a lack of confidence” when it came to her parenting skills. She went on to explain how these feelings can make it difficult for the two in 10 women who struggle with mental health issues during their pregnancy or within the first year of giving birth.
In January, Middleton encouraged those who are suffering from mental health conditions to seek 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,” she said.
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