England’s Prince Harry has began an important conversation about the stigma surrounding mental health problems and seeking help for them. The Prince went public about his own mental health issues in dealing with the death of his mother Princess Diana. And royalty continued that conversation only a few days later when his brother, prince William, talked with pop music royalty Lady Gaga about her mental health issues.
In his discussion Prince Harry revealed that he suffered from anxiety and other problems and it was long time before he made up his mid to seek counselling and begin to overcome these problems.
It was a powerful gesture, not only in revealing that counselling helped him personally, but that he hoped others would now find it easier to seek help themselves.
The stigma surrounding mental health has been a significant barrier to people seeking help for anything related to their mental health. But that has been changing in recent times. People who may have initially been worried about their mental health being made public have found that seeking help has been far more important. The burden of the problem often makes it worse for so many people. But as more and more people are seeking help, the stigma decreases.
As Prince Harry says, “the experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realise that actually you’re part of quite a big club.”
He said what so many others have said, that keeping quiet about their problems will only make them worse. Stigma plays a big part in holding back but Harry himself says “I can’t encourage people enough to just have that conversation because you will be surprised.”
If you are experiencing mental health then maybe it is time to have conversation and join that “quite big club”.