Monday, 25 July 2016

Harry and Diana: the prince on his mum

Prince Harry has been talking about depression and mental health issues as well as about losing his mum
(photo credit: Heads Together Twitter still)

Prince Harry has shared one of his deepest held thoughts today as he revealed he wishes he had spoken about the death of his mother, Diana, much earlier than he did. As he hosted a Heads Together event to focus on depression and mental health issues, Harry said he now thinks waiting until he was 28 to open up about the loss of Diana was too long. It's a frank and poignant admission from Prince Harry but it will no doubt help many who are struggling with sadness to open up about things that affect them.

The admission from Harry came as he hosted some of the biggest names in sport at a barbecue for the Heads Together initiative that he launched with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge earlier this year. At the event. Harry heard from double Olympic gold medallist, Dame Kelly Holmes, who told him that she had suffered from depression through a large part of her athletics career but had sought help. And she revealed that she had only been more open about it in the past three or four years.

Another multiple Olympic gold winner, Victoria Pendleton, spoke about her own issues around anxiety. She was with psychiatrist, Dr Steve Peters, who had helped her when she needed support for anxiety and she told Harry about how she had developed coping strategies, saying that getting her head right was perhaps more important that getting her body right.

Prince Harry at the barbecue he hosted for Heads Together
(photo credit Heads Together Twitter video still)

Harry shared many thoughts on mental health issues and said that seeking help wasn't a weakness, adding ''for me, weakness is realising an issue in yourself and not sorting it'.

He went on to discuss how he felt he should have spoken about he felt about losing his mother sooner - Harry was 12 when Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 21st 1997. The prince waited until he was 28 to open up about how her death had affected him and he said he now regrets that.

The prince and his guests were keen to emphasise how mental health issues like depression and anxiety are the same for everyone. Harry spoke to football star Rio Ferdinand who lost his wife, Rebecca, to cancer last year. He talked about how Harry had been through some of the issues his three children will now have to face.

Prince Harry hosted cricket and a barbecue as he talked about mental health issues as part of his Heads Together campaign
(photo Kensington Palace Instagram)

Iwan Thomas also spoke about how having his career ended by injury had led to anxiety and depression for him and he and Harry discussed how the impact of mental health problems on day to day life are the same for everyone, whatever their career or lifestyle.  This is yet another bold and brave public move from Harry who in the past month has referred often to his mother's work and followed in her footsteps as he has shone a spotlight on HIV/AIDS. But this admission of not opening up soon enough about how losing her affected his life will touch a chord with many. By wearing his heart on his sleeve, Harry has helped plenty of others facing similar situations and that can only be a good thing.

1 comment:

  1. Diana would be so proud of her sons, both William and Harry have grown to be caring as she was. We can't help but love them and admire them for so much they do for others, just as Princess Diana did!