Prince Harry Knows Speaking Out About Mental Health Can Benefit Charities

Prince Harry is preparing to step down from his role as a senior member of the royal family. In the next few months, the public will likely see him start to take on a variety of different projects. While he has remained tight-lipped about the projects he will focus on, it is likely some of them will be related to mental health. Over the years, Prince Harry has been an outspoken advocate for mental wellness and has been remarkably open about his own inner struggles.

Prince Harry’s battle with mental health

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Spotlight on: Endeavour Fund Today we are taking a look back at the amazing work done by the @EndeavourFund, an organisation created by The Duke of Sussex to support the Armed Forces community. HRH was motivated by the ambitions of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) service personnel and veterans across the UK, who wanted to use sport and adventurous activity as part of their recovery. And what they choose to take on is extraordinary! These men and women break global records and set goals for those around the world – non-disabled and disabled alike, including:  The first amputee to cross Greenland icecap unsupported, the first triple amputee to qualify as a rescue diver, the fastest unsupported rowing time across the Atlantic, and so many more. The endeavours they take on are inspirational, but also have a tremendous impact on their physical, emotional and social recovery, as well as a lasting effect on the family and community around them. Since launching in 2012, the Endeavour Fund has supported nearly 6,000 WIS in sport and adventure challenges. As The Duke said, “The magic of the Endeavour Fund is that it enables those who had life changing injuries in their prime, many of whom felt defeated, to use the power of sport to find a new purpose. The renewed self-belief we see in everyone who participates, and how this transforms their lives and the lives of those around them is overwhelming. Beyond that, each man or woman who participates uses their endeavour as an opportunity to raise funds for another serviceman or woman who needs the same support they once did. It’s a powerful and meaningful process that I am so proud to be a part of.” • In 2019 alone, 17 grants were submitted benefitting nearly a thousand WIS and over 200 family and friends. 198 qualifications were gained and more than 80 are back in the workforce feeling fulfilled and with a renewed sense of purpose. Photo © Endeavour Fund

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Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, tragically passed away in a car accident when he was only twelve years old. While the trauma of losing a parent might affect anyone deeply, being in the spotlight added to the trauma considerably. Recently, Prince Harry opened up that after losing his mother, he spent three years in therapy trying to cope with her loss. 

He has also stated that his life felt like “total chaos” after losing his mother in such a public way. He’s also said that on “numerous occasions” he has come very close to having a complete nervous breakdown. The royal has talked about how beneficial mental health professionals have been and how much progress he made after talking to a counselor. Prince Harry’s openness about mental health is certainly unusual within the royal family. His vulnerability has definitely endeared him to many people all over the world. 

How did Prince Harry help mental health charities?

Prince Harry smiling, looking slightly off camera
Prince Harry | Adrian Dennis/Getty Images

After Prince Harry’s initial 2017 admission regarding his mental health struggles, there was a near-immediate ripple effect. According to a news report, several mental health charities reported an increase in people reaching out to use their services following Prince Harry’s interview. One charity known as The Mix, reported an incredible forty-three percent increase in people contacting them for mental health support.

A source for the story stated that there is real evidence to support the increase and that “ordinary people” are more likely to seek help if they see or hear about famous people experiencing the same problems. The source called Prince Harry’s admissions “inspiring” and called for even more celebrities or people in the spotlight to speak out in the same manner. 

What mental health projects will Prince Harry work on?

While most of Prince Harry’s plans for the year remain under wraps, there is one major project that he is actively working on: an Apple TV+ series that he is making in conjunction with Oprah Winfrey. Recently, it was reported that the series would feature a number of visits to different mental health institutions around the United Kingdom. The series will feature facilities designed specifically for combat veterans who are struggling with depression and anxiety. 

In his statement announcing the series, Prince Harry stated that “I truly believe that good mental health — mental fitness — is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities, and a purpose-driven self. It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times.” There’s no doubt that by partnering with a media giant like Oprah, Prince Harry’s mission to increase awareness of mental health will reach a whole new audience.