Prince Harry says families feel ‘shame’ when loved ones have mental health issues

‘We all know that, when people are suffering or struggling, that we’re all incredibly good at covering it up,’ says Duke

Olivia Petter
Friday 28 May 2021 09:49 BST
(Getty Images)

The Duke of Sussex has opened up about how families can feel a degree of “shame” when a loved one is struggling with their mental health.

Speaking in The Me You Can’t See: A Path Forward, which was released on Apple TV on Friday, Prince Harry expanded on the issues discussed in the first installment of the TV show he created with Oprah Winfrey, The Me You Can’t See, which aired last week.

The 90-minute bonus episode featured a series of mental health experts from The Me You Can’t See advisory board having discussions with Prince Harry, Winfrey, and others.

Discussing the circumstances around finding out that one of your close family members has a mental health issue, Prince Harry said: “As parents and as siblings there’s an element of shame that we feel because we’re like… ‘How could we not have seen it? How did we not know? How did you not feel comfortable enough to come to me and share that with me?’

“But we all know that, when people are suffering or struggling, that we’re all incredibly good at covering it up.”

The Duke went on to say how easy it is to brush mental health struggles under the carpet in the modern world.

“We live in a society where we’re willing to accept that suffering is so much a part of life,” he said.

“But we’ve created a society where we’re almost forbidding, or making it hard for people to talk about and share that suffering.”

Prince Harry also explained in the extra episode that he feels better equipped to help someone who is feeling suicidal, after having previously confessed that he didn’t know how to respond when his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, expressed that she had been having suicidal thoughts.

“So many people are afraid of being on the receiving end of that conversation because they don’t feel like they have the right tools to give the right advice,” he said.

“But what you want to say is you’re there. Because listening and being part of that conversation is without doubt the best first step that you can take.”

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