Today, the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, along with Heads Together, an umbrella organisation comprised of seven mental health charities, launched their campaign to eradicate stigma surrounding mental health.
The event was held at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where the three royals mingled with representatives from the charities.
Exercise is well known to improve mental wellbeing. The charity Minds holds exercise classes around the UK; one being Boxercise. The trio had their chance to take on former boxer, Duke McKenzie.
When it was Harry’s turn, McKenzie said”He was giving me the eye and I think he wanted to take me out!” joked McKenzie.
He continued: “Harry’s a banger make no mistake about it. He runs like a Bentley or a Rolls Royce — he purrs quite well. I’ve boxed my whole life and he’s got a fair punch on him.”
McKenzie said that Kate “couldn’t wait to get the gloves on and had a wicked punch”.
During the past few months, each royal has focused on one area of improving mental health. Last week, the Duke of Cambridge launched a campaign to bring awareness to male suicide. Through his passion project, the Invictus games, Prince Harry has spotlighted mental health concerns for active and veteran military service members. And, by becoming Royal Patron of the Anna Freud Centre, the Duchess is intent on improving the conversation around mental wellbeing for children. The Heads Together Campaign is the largest effort of the royal trio to date, to end the stigmatization of mental health.
The young royals gave a joint speech about how to banish the stigmatization surrounding mental health, which you can read below:
The Duke of Cambridge: Through our work with young people, emergency response, homeless charities, and with veterans, we have seen time and time again that unresolved mental health problems lie at the heart of some of our greatest social challenges.
The Duchess of Cambridge: Too often, people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health. This fear of judgment stops people from getting the help they need, which can destroy families and end lives.
Heads Together wants to help everyone feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing, and to have the practical tools to support their friends and family.
Prince Harry: The Heads Together campaign wants to involve all of you. We’re already working with our partner charities and thousands of people to change the way that people think about mental health. We do not want prejudice and fear to stand in the way of people getting the help they need to cope with life. As the year progresses, the three of us – working with all of you in this room and others who join us along the way – want to come up with practical ways of providing everyone who needs help with the right support and care.
We want to build on the great work that others are already doing, but make it even more ambitious.
By putting our heads together, we can all make a big difference.
The Duke of Cambridge: But first, Heads Together wants to get people talking. The more we talk about mental health, the more normal the topic becomes, and the more we feel able to open up and seek support.
By asking for help, by telling a friend we have a problem, by asking someone else how they feel – by having a conversation – we take the first step to feeling better about ourselves – and the first step to being able to cope better with the ups and downs of life.
This is relevant to everyone. So let’s all get our heads together and let’s change the conversation, from one of silence and shame to one of optimism and support. Thank you for joining us at the start of this exciting journey.
Featured Photo Credit: Carfax2 (Own Work) via Wikimedia Commons