July 24, 2016- Prince Harry hosted a BBQ bringing together sport personalities to promote the campaign Heads Together, which he launched with his brother, Prince William and sister-in-law Catherine earlier this year. The goal of Heads Together is to generate conversations openly about mental illness to help eliminate the stigma associated with it and to develop support systems for children and adults suffering from mental health issues. To do so the campaign has partnered with 8 major mental health charities:
CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably)
Contact (a military mental health coalition)
The Anna Freud Centre
The idea behind the Heads Together event organized by Prince Harry was to bring together successful sport personalities who have struggled with mental health to show that even successful people with careers, money and families behind them can suffer from mental illnesses such as depression. Prince Harry himself has said that he wishes he would have talked earlier about the detrimental effects of losing his mother Princess Diana at the age of 12.
At the event for example, was former player of the England and Manchester United Rio Ferdinand who lost his wife Rebecca to cancer just this year. Ferdinand has two small children and commented about the fact that they will be going through similar struggles as Prince Harry, having lost his mom at a young age as well: “He’s gone through different stages in his life that my kids are going to be going towards. So to get some of his experiences is very rewarding for me and very educational in many ways.” Other sport personalities such as Dame Kelly and sprint champion Thomas shared with Prince Harry that they struggled for years with depression associated with the pressure to perform while dealing with injuries.
Watch the video here.
Prince Harry told BBC Breakfast : “It is OK to suffer, but as long as you talk about it. It is not a weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognising it and not solving that problem.”
This is one of the very first official events organized by Heads Together leading up to their main event which will be the London Marathon in April of 2017.