The royal trio, as part of their ‘Heads Together’ campaign, have launched a series of emotional and honest mental health films starring a myriad of famous faces.
Prince Harry, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have launched the ten films to help “shatter the stigma” surrounding mental health, in the hope that they will create more of a conversation around the issue. The films are being promoted using the hashtag, #oktosay, indicating the need to open up a dialogue around issues of mental health.
The clips include two loved ones speaking to one another, and feature appearances from Ruby Wax and her husband Ed Bye, Freddie Flintoff and Stephen Manderson, Alistair Campbell, and newsreader Mark Austin and his daughter Maddy, who has suffered from anorexia.
There are also a range of films from new mums, former army men, and ambulance workers.
The emotional clip with Mark and his daughter shows the newsreader explaining just how confused Maddy’s behaviour left him. He said “I didn’t understand what had triggered you from being a kind of normal, healthy 17 year old, to losing so much weight so quickly. I couldn’t understand what was going through your mind.”
But his daughter explained, “The only way I felt like I could show the world I wasn’t OK was by controlling what I ate and by losing weight, and having this one thing I could control.”
Ed and Ruby’s video also reveals that Ed only found out Ruby had mental health films as they were walking up the aisle to be married.
The royals, Catherine, Harry and William, have released a joint statement regarding the films, saying “Since we launched Heads Together last May, we have seen time and time again that shattering stigma on mental health starts with simple conversations.
“When you realise that mental health problems affect your friends, neighbours, children and spouses, the walls of judgement and prejudice around these issues begin to fall.
“And we all know that you cannot resolve a mental health issue by staying silent.”
The statement went on to reinforce how mental health issues are on the precipice of changing, stating, “Attitudes to mental health are at a tipping point. We hope these films show people how simple conversations can change the direction of an entire life. Please share them with your friends and families and join us in a national conversation on mental health in the weeks ahead.”
In recent months since the campaign launched, the Duke and Duchess, along with Prince Harry, have themselves been more open in talking about their own mental health. Most recently, Catherine spoke out about how difficult it can be to be a mother, saying “at times, it has also been a huge challenge”.
And Prince Harry, who has recently revealed he has mental health training, has also voiced his opinion on mental health in the difficult surroundings of the army. Speaking about his own experience, when he was drafted to Afghanistan some years ago, he said, “It is incredibly difficult to talk about mental health in the armed forces. It is still a very difficult conversation.
“As a military person, once you put that uniform on during your training, you are taught to be invincible and not to let anybody down. I know first-hand from my time as a pilot, that you don’t want anybody to question your ability to cope with that pressure, and stress. But the truth is, no one is invincible.”
The next step in the Heads Together campaign will be the Virgin Money London Marathon 2017, of which the mental health cause is the officially chosen charity.
Find all of the films here.