Camilla Duke tells us about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's recent campaign, "Heads Together," which attempts to normalise the conversation around mental health. They have spent the last month or so promoting it and it was the official charity of the recent London Marathon.
While much progress has been made in recent years to deconstruct the stigma surrounding mental health, there is still much work to be done. Recently, Prince William, Prince Harry and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, have teamed up to launch an initiative called “Heads Together,” focusing on encouraging conversations about mental health and widening access to resources through partnerships with a number of charities.
In a video released by Kensington Palace, the three members of the royal family discuss the multitude of factors that motivated them to collaborate on “Heads Together.” Kate explains how she began to notice that mental health was a common factor in many of the areas the three of them worked on independently, including homelessness, addiction, bereavement, and military and veterans’ affairs. Will and Harry also noted that their own struggles with grief when they lost their mother played a role in shaping their attitudes towards mental health. Harry addresses his own experience with the stigma surrounding mental health, in that he did not feel comfortable talking about his struggle or seeking help until much later in life.
William, Kate, and Harry go on to discuss the difficulties that everyday life presents in today’s world, especially for young people. The premise of “Heads Together” is that changing the stigma surrounding mental health begins with opening up conversation. Once families and communities build a foundation of open dialogue, then improvements in resources and access will follow. They also stress the importance of prioritising mental health in a world that often tells us we shouldn’t.
“Heads Together” was selected as the London Marathon’s “Charity of the Year,” which provides an excellent platform for furthering the campaign. The launch of Heads Together during the London Marathon was extremely successful in promoting the campaign, and now it has received national attention. Will, Kate, and Harry’s unique cultural and social status will be instrumental when it comes to normalising conversations about mental health, particularly across generations.
As Will highlights in the video, generational changes are one of the most difficult aspects of today’s mental health climate. Since “Heads Together” is tackling a wide berth of issues related to mental health, its partnerships with long-standing charities and organisations will similarly play a key role in expanding the campaign across the country. Hopefully, with all of these factors in place, “Heads Together” will do a great deal to help change the way people talk about mental health.