During a keynote speech at a veterans’ mental health conference, Prince Harry revealed that he and Meghan Markle were “shocked to the core” by stories from military veterans while on a private visit to Colchester Garrison.
Having served for ten years in the Army, Prince Harry is passionate about veteran welfare. The trip to Colchester Garrison was so the couple could learn about the Noth Essex Mental Health Network. The network is a collaboration between Third Sector, the Ministry of Defence and the NHS.
Speaking to the room, Prince Harry said: “I have seen those I have served with suffer, struggling to seek out the help they desperately need. And we know there are more just like them who continue to suffer in silence.
“And when the individual doesn’t or can’t reach out for help, it is also their families who suffer; especially their spouses and children, who are left feeling desperate and confused as they try to seek appropriate help for the ones they love.”
Harry added: “Some of the stories Meghan and I heard when we visited Colchester Garrison a few weeks ago shocked us to our core.
“But despite meeting these people and others who are in the darkest of places, I am continually surrounded and inspired by amazingly positive outcomes.”
After serving two tours, one as a forward air controller and the second as an Apache pilot, Prince Harry started the Invictus Games for wounded veterans. He has also provided endless support for mental health initiatives, not only for veterans but everyone.
The fifth-in-line (soon to be sixth) showed up to the conference at King’s College London’s Strand Campus an hour before his own speech to hear some of the expert’s opinions.
During his own speech, he expressed how he has been “privileged to witness the journey that many men and women have taken – from desperation and isolation, to amazing achievements, regaining self-worth, and finding community once more” through the Invictus Games.
“As a recent Kings’ study shows us, the proportion of veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress is very similar to the general population, with just 1.6% separating them.”
Topping off his speech by saying: “Military service is enriching and good for society. Our experiences show that employers value veterans and we want to push that message that they are incredible assets to any business.
“Any employer would be lucky to have them as part of your team – and that’s a fact.”