New announcement details importance of doing more for mental health
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle discussed the importance of doing more work with mental health while on stage together in the first Royal Foundation Forum Wednesday.
Under the theme “Making a difference together”, the royals discussed how bringing people together as was done in the Heads Together campaign, showed them the power of uniting behind one particular focus.
“I think it surprised all of us” the Duke of Cambridge said of the success of the Heads Together campaign. “We had these leading experts who had been working in mental health for way longer than we had… they provided foundation and solidity of the campaign and we could then help provide some of the other conduits”.
Prince Harry said that Heads Together was an “amazing convening power” but also noted that the perception of mental health across the entire country had changed, making the Heads Together initiative come at a perfect time.
Prince Harry said Royal Foundation work will be about tackling the causes of mental health issues and not just the symptoms. “In today’s society it’s very easy to get sucked into trying to sort out the symptoms, and the four of us believe that in order to have a long-lasting impact, you have to somewhat ignore the symptoms and go back to the cause - otherwise you’re just putting a Band-Aid on it. We have to be tackling the cause of the problem”.
The Duchess of Cambridge echoed those thoughts, “Mental health just kept flagging up every time whether that was in addiction or in school support, or in vulnerable young children. It’s such a huge topic, it’s something that all three of us at the time thought we could make a far bigger impact together”.
Ms. Meghan Markle, who will formally become the fourth Patron after her and Prince Harry’s wedding, also spoke about the importance of female empowerment. “I hear a lot of people saying, “You’re helping women ‘find their voices’ and I fundamentally disagree with that, because women don’t need to find a voice. They have a voice. They need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen”.
Ms. Markle talked about recent campaigns like Me Too and Time’s Up, saying “There’s no better time to really continue to shine a light on women really feeling empowered and people really helping to support them, men included in that”.
The Royal Foundation was set up in 2011 by The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry as the main vehicle to pursue their charitable and philanthropic interests. The Royal Foundation’s programmes to date include Heads Together, the Invictus Games, and United for Wildlife. The Duke of Cambridge is expected to announce new work with mental health in the workplace at a conference Thursday.