Mental Health
photo credit: @KensingtonRoyal

Mental Health Month – The Royal Family Spearhead the ‘Heads Together’ Campaign

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, along with Prince Harry have joined forces with Heads Together, a new initiative which aims to end the stigma surrounding mental health.

credit: http://www.upworthy.com/the-royal-familys-charming-psa-on-mental-health-is-a-must-watch
credit: http://www.upworthy.com

The Heads Together campaign also aims to help change the national conversation on mental health, by working with a team of charity partners who specialise in a wide range of mental health issues that are close to the hearts of William, Kate and Harry.

Heads Together have partnered with eight inspiring charities with decades of experience in tackling stigma, raising awareness and providing vital help for people who suffer from mental illnesses. More charities will be joining the initiative over time. The current charity partners are:

  • Anna Freud Centre – they have been developing and delivering pioneering mental health care for over 60 years, with a focus on campaigning for and creating mental health services built around the needs and experiences of children, young people and their families.
  • Best Beginnings – they support the mental health of pregnant women and new mothers, with the aim of giving every child in the UK the best start in life.
  • CALM – a national charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, as it is the single biggest cause of death in men aged under 45 in the UK.
  • Contact – a collaboration including leading military charities, support organisations, the Ministry of Defence and the UK Psychological Trauma Society who are working together to make the most effective mental health support easily accessible to Service personnel, ex-Service personnel and their families.
  • Mind – they provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem in England and Wales.
  • Place2Be – they provide in-school support to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families and school staff, and expert training for professionals working with children.
  • The Mix – a combination of YouthNet’s extensive digital research and Get Connected’s telephone helpline and counselling service, The Mix currently reaches 1.7 million people under 25 in the UK and offers multi-issue support, with a focus on mental wellbeing.
  • Young Minds – the UK’s leading charity championing the well-being and mental health of children and young people.

To launch the new campaign, Heads Together has been given the honour of being the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year. Anyone running the marathon in aid of Heads Together will be given two goals – to raise money for the inspiring charities and to kickstart a big conversation in their communities about ending the stigma that surrounds mental health.

To coincide with the campaign, Heads Together has created an inspiring video called Let’s Get Our Heads Together, which aims to raise awareness about the marathon’s push for mental health. During the video, you see a number of runners discussing which charities they’ll be running for, with one of the runners putting across the message that “when we get our heads together, we can achieve great things”.

The video also reminds people to be empathetic and compassionate when it comes to dealing with mental health issues. Kate reminds us that “mental health is just as important as physical health”, with Harry stating that “we can all play our parts by talking and listening to each other.” William provides us with a goal that we can all work towards – getting our heads together to “change the conversation on mental health.”

credit: http://www.upworthy.com
credit: http://www.upworthy.com

The Royal Family end the uplifting video with a bit of a giggle, as they try to take a serious photo in their #HeadsTogether headbands under Harry’s instruction, however, Kate finds it difficult not to smile. Despite the smiles all round, their involvement in this new initiative stems from the numerous times that they’ve encountered mental health issues through their work with young people, emergency response, homeless charities and veterans.

On May 16, William, Kate and Harry attended the launch of the Heads Together campaign in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The trio were joined by a number of campaigners and ambassadors, including Abbey Clancy, who spoke about post-natal depression, and Professor Green, whose father committed suicide.

Once again, the three Royals relayed a very strong message, that communication is key. Being brave enough to start the conversation is the first step to breaking the silence and stigma which still surrounds mental health today.

All three royals have emphasised the importance of mental health awareness in their work over the last few years, however, Royal reporter Roya Nikkhah stated that each of the three royals will focus on specific areas of mental health throughout the year long Heads Together campaign.

William will be working with young men, focussing on combating the number of male suicides. Harry will be working with veterans and has founded the Invictus Games, a sporting event created specifically for sick, injured or wounded service members, whether it be physically or mentally. In an interview with ABC News, Harry stressed the importance of mental and physical injuries, saying: “The invisible injuries.. the stigma surrounding it is a massive issue. I want to re-emphasize the point to people that it’s not a ticking time bomb.”

Kate will continue her work which focuses on children’s mental health. She is a patron for Place2Be, one of the charities that is heavily involved with Heads Together, and has been working on children’s mental health issues for some time. Kate was recently a guest editor for The Huffington Post, and in a powerful post, she highlighted the importance of acknowledging if and when a child needs help.

It is clear that all three royals are extremely passionate about breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. In a statement on the Heads Together website, a message from the three royals states: “We have seen time and time again that unresolved mental health problems lie at the heart of some of our greatest social challenges.”

“Too often, people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health. This fear of prejudice and judgement stops people from getting help and can destroy families and end lives. Heads Together wants to help people feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing and have the practical tools to support their friends and family.The Heads Together campaign will build on the great work being done by our partner charities so that prejudice and fear no longer stand in the way of people getting the help they need.”

With one in four people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem every year, it’s time for us to join forces and break the stigma surrounding mental health once and for all. Whether you want to get your running shoes on for the London Marathon, fundraise in your own unique way, or simply spread the word by kickstarting conversations about mental health in your community, we can all play a part in raising awareness and breaking the stigma.

An easy way to get involved is by pledging to Heads Together that you will start a conversation on mental health today.

Heads Together

You can watch the Heads Together campaign video featuring William, Kate and Harry below.

For more information about Heads Together and how you can help, please visit their website or get in touch with them on Twitter @heads_together.

Will you start a conversation on mental health today? Join us by leave a comment below or get in touch with us on Twitter @CelebMixCares or @CelebMix.

Written by Katrina Rees

I'm Katrina, or Kat to pretty much everyone. I'm an editor for CelebMix, a content writer, a boyband lover and an all round music fanatic.
Twitter: @lifeofkatrina
Email: katrinanaomirees@gmail.com