Along with Selena Gomez, Zayn Malik, Lena Dunham and others, Prince Harry is the latest young celeb urging us to get serious about our mental health.
In his speech at the Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds event Thursday, the 32-year-old royal said that we need to “make conversations about mental health as commonplace as those about physical health.”
Princess Diana’s youngest son has been outspoken about the challenges he faced after his mother’s death, saying that he descended into “total chaos” for years before eventually seeking counseling at the encouragement of his brother, Prince William.
In April, the two brothers and Kate Middleton cheered on runners at the London Marathon who were competing for Heads Together, a charity that advocates for mental health awareness.
Harry said that since the marathon, “I have spoken to many people who now feel able to reach out to family, friends and colleagues and discuss what they have been feeling,” and that he was struck by “the number of people I’ve met, who have direct experience of mental health challenges…So many of these stories could have been very different if awareness was better and help had been sought sooner.”
He noted that while “the dial has shifted,” leading to more compassion for those who open up about their depression and anxiety, there is still much more work to be done. “For example, we need to better equip our young people with the tools they need to cope with this increasingly complex and fast moving world we live in.”
He also commented on his generation’s social media addiction, noting that he read that “young people check their phones at least 150 times a day.” Yikes.
“I’m sure we could all be more effective and efficient if we took a moment to process our thoughts rather than rushing from one thing to the next,” he said. Preach.