Saturday 22 July 2017

'Time everyone speaks up about mental health' - Prince William

Prince William interviews Lady Gaga about mental health issues Picture: PA
Prince William interviews Lady Gaga about mental health issues Picture: PA

Hannah Furness

Britain's Prince William has told how he still feels the shock of his mother's death 20 years later, as he followed his brother Harry's lead by pledging: "It's time that everyone speaks up."

William, who was 15 when Princess Diana died, said the loss of a parent was "such an unbelievably big moment" adding: "You never get over it."

Speaking in a new BBC documentary about mental health issues, he said:"People go, 'shock can't last that long', but it does."

Prince Harry received universal praise earlier this week after telling how he had sought counselling after spending 20 years burying his head in the sand over his mother's death and two years of "total chaos".

William said: "The more we have influential and very important people speaking about their issues and their battles, the better."

Yesterday, he also appeared in a video with pop star Lady Gaga, talking to her about mental health issues and declaring: "It's time that everyone speaks up."

In the video, which was streamed on Facebook, Lady Gaga said she felt people with mental health challenges were "not hiding any more".

William said: "It's time that everyone speaks up and really feels very normal about mental health, it's the same as physical health. Everybody has mental health and we shouldn't be ashamed of it and just having a conversation with a friend or family member can really make such a difference."

Lady Gaga said: "For me, waking up every day feeling sad and going on stage is just very hard to describe.

"There's a lot of shame attached to mental illness, you feel like something's wrong with you. And in my life I go: 'Oh my goodness, look at all these beautiful and wonderful things that I have, and I should be so happy'.

"But you can't help it if in the morning when you wake up, you are so tired, you are so sad and you are so full of anxiety and the shakes that you can barely think.

"But it was like saying 'this is a part of me, and that's OK'."

William said of his mental health now: "I'm very lucky, I've got a good support network around me. For those who don't have that network, that's where the first cracks start to appear."

Irish Independent

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