It's not the first time the royals have gotten real about mental health, but Harry's most recent interview shows just how much he cares about reducing the stigma around mental health issues.
If you're a fan of Prince Harry, you probably know *all* about his fab girlfriend, Meghan Markle, especially since they've been in the news quite a bit over the past several months. But today, Harry's in the news for an even better reason—one we can *really* get behind. In a podcast interview with Bryony Gordon, the younger prince talked about the importance of opening up and going to therapy.
In the interview, Harry said that he didn't really get a chance to deal with the grief from his mother's death for nearly two decades, resulting in him feeling "very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions." Anyone who's lost someone close to them can probably relate to that feeling. Eventually, he decided to open up and seek help, with the encouragement of his family and is now in a much better place. He also said that he took up boxing to help cope, "because everyone was saying boxing is good for you and it's a really good way of letting out aggression." Endorphins can definitely go a long way when it comes to dealing with tough emotions. (In fact, alleviating anxiety is one of the 13 mental health benefits of exercise.)
Now, he's using his position to let others know that they shouldn't feel ashamed of doing the same. "I know there is huge merit in talking about your issues, and the only thing about keeping it quiet is that it's only ever going to make it worse," Prince Harry said. As for why he's speaking out now, he said: "What we are trying to do is normalize the conversation to the point where anyone can sit down and have a coffee and just go 'you know what, I've had a really s--- day, can I just tell you about it?'" If you've ever gone through a rough spot, you probably know that even just chatting with a friend can be a big help.
This isn't the first time the royal family has spoken out about destigmatizing these issues. Earlier this year, they launched Heads Together, a campaign meant to promote discussion about mental health. At that launch, the duchess (aka Kate Middleton), noted that "the challenge that so many people have is not knowing how to take that first step of reaching out to another person for help. Fear, or reticence, or a sense of not wanting to burden another, means that people suffer in silence—allowing the problem to grow larger and larger unchecked."
Though lots of celebs have spoken out about mental health (including Lena Dunham and Demi Lovato), it's really exciting to see a British royal talking about it with such candor, especially since their family is generally pretty private. Here's to hoping more celebs use their platforms to do exactly what Prince Harry is—letting people know that they're not alone and that getting help really can make things better.