I admire both royal Princes for coming out in support of mental health awareness and speaking candidly about their own issues. They have helped demonstrate – to men in particular – that it’s neither shameful nor weak to acknowledge a mental health problem. In fact, it takes grit and courage. Even more so to say you want to do something about it.
Some mental health challenges are long established, deep-rooted problems that need professional help, but sometimes it can be the result of a series of small events, that combined can tip a balanced and normally confident person into a darker and not so helpful place. This chain-reaction of events can go unseen and with it’s cumulative effect, just the smallest and seemingly trivial of issues can cause someone to unravel.
We can all play our part in making mental health a subject that can be discussed without fear or shame. We can also be watchful with family, friends and colleagues for changes which may be a sign that they are struggling. They may just be having a stressful day but it may be something more significant. Asking how they are, and importantly, how you can help, could really make a difference and help them back onto an even keel. And if someone you know opens up to you about their mental health challenge, a simple, non-judgemental conversation could be life changing.
The Princes have done their bit by putting mental health squarely in the public arena, we can do our bit for those we know and love. Together, we will shatter the stigma and people struggling with their mental health will know they are not alone.