Prince Harry opens up about 'unresolved grief' in an emotional speech on mental health

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, argues that our lives are shaped by “what we’re exposed to” as children

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walks behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Prince Harry delivered a heartfelt speech on mental health at a recent conference in San Francisco, urging people not to blame themselves for their mental struggles.

Prince Harry has spoken out about the price of “unresolved grief” in order to raise awareness of mental health struggles.

Speaking at a San Fransisco Summit as chief impact officer at professional coaching and mental health firm BetterUp conference alongside the likes of Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt, and Tyler Perry, the Duke of Sussex urged the public to not blame themselves for their mental health struggles, insisting that everyone is a “product of our upbringing”, and that we should seek out, “what happened to us rather than what’s wrong with us”.


(Image credit: Getty)

In a video clip from the conference, Harry can be seen telling the crowd, “I think we’re a product of our upbringing or what we’re exposed to as young kids.

“I think the majority of us in this room, especially as far as I’m concerned, 99.9% of people on planet Earth right now are dealing with some form of unresolved grief, trauma, or loss. And most of that we suppress.

“Society doesn’t really encourage us to bring it to the surface. But if we’re not aware of that, if we don’t have the self-awareness of how we’ve got to where we’ve got to, how we react the way we do, our mood swings... again our upbringing - what we saw, what we experienced, what happened to us. As opposed to what’s wrong with us. Then we are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.”

Prince Harry has previously spoken about the topic of "genetic pain" and how trauma can be passed on through generations.

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In an episode of the podcast Armchair Expert, Prince Harry spoke about the "genetic pain and suffering" he's experienced throughout his life.

"I don't think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody, but certainly when it comes to parenting, if I've experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I'm going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don't pass it on," he told hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman.

During his speech in San Francisco, Prince Harry also opened up about the importance of therapy and how it meant that his "bubble burst".

“The moment I started doing therapy, it opened my eyes,” he said. “I was moving through life thinking there was only one way to live and therapy burst that bubble.

“Then, when I found my way to coaching, the next bubble burst, and all of a sudden I realized that now I have perspective and a great understanding of my value. I regained confidence that I never thought I had.”

Lauren Hughes

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren worked on the woman&home brand for four years before going freelance. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine.