Twenty years after Princess Diana’s death, her second son, Prince Harry, recently made headlines by talking about the status of his mental health in the years following his mother’s fatal car accident, revealing how devastated he was back then.
A few days after Prince Harry's revelation, it was his older brother Prince William’s turn to talk about the importance of speaking out about mental health issues with the help of a fellow advocate, pop singer Lady Gaga.
Via a FaceTime video call, the pair discussed what’s already been done to work toward resolving these issues and what else needs to be done. Lady Gaga said she was grateful to be speaking to the royal and told him she is “a very big fan of what you’ve done with Heads Together and #Oktosay.”
Spearheaded by Prince William, his wife, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry, Heads Together is a campaign dedicated to helping people find comfort in articulating their everyday mental wellbeing and to finding support from family and friends. The campaign paves the way for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity in April. The Heads Together campaign has also produced the #Oktosay video series, where, among others, actor Stephen Fry, former professional footballer Rio Ferdinand, Asian Network DJ Mim Shaikh, and Katharine Welby-Roberts, the daughter of the Archbishop of Canterbury, have come forward about the pressures of talking about mental health.
On the video call, Prince William returned Lady Gaga's compliment by commending the singer on how brave she was to release an open letter about the struggles she's faced with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the website of her Born This Way Foundation.
The prince then asked her about her experience in speaking out. She replied: “It made me very nervous at first… there’s a lot of shame attached to mental illness. You feel like something’s wrong with you.” Eventually, she said she came to terms with her illness and said that the best thing that came out of it was being able to share with many other people in this generation and the next that they are not alone and that the topic of mental illness should not be taboo.
The prince then invited Lady Gaga to “get their heads together” (pun intended) on how much more they can do to tackle the issue. The “Born This Way” singer agreed and said, “We have to make the strongest, most relentless attempt to normalize mental health issues so that people could feel that they can come forward.”
Watch the full video below: