The Princess of Wales has stressed the need for everyone to “keep talking” and “reaching out for help” as she and the Prince of Wales hosted a BBC radio program about mental health.
William and Kate invited four mental health advocates and experts to speak about their experiences for a special edition of BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat.
In the program, recorded to mark Monday’s World Mental Health Day and aired on Tuesday, Kate said there was “no right or wrong” when the discussion turned to how the four contributors dealt with their own issues.
William told the audience: “As we said at the start of this special Newsbeat, this is all about having a meaningful conversation on mental health. But it shouldn’t stop here.”
His wife added: “Because talking about mental health is so important. And it’s definitely the first step for us all is to keep talking, having those conversations and reaching out for help.”
The couple mentioned their Heads Together mental health campaign which helped, along with the work of charities and organizations, to give the issue greater prominence.
The princess said: “And that’s one thing that came up whilst we were doing the campaign, this idea that mental health is a negative, has negative connotations.
“One of the messages we were trying to encourage was the fact everyone has mental health in the same way as their physical health we have to look after. In the same way we go to the gym, we need to look after and nurture our minds as well.”
Among the guests was Dr. Abigail Miranda, an educational and child psychologist working in early years at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, of which Kate is patron.
The princess spoke about her work in this area, saying: “So much, obviously, how we manage and cope with life later down the line, often traces back to how we’ve learned to manage and express and regulate emotions – right back from our earliest years of life.”
William asked the group how they looked after their mental health and Antonio Ferreira, a mental health activist who was diagnosed with undifferentiated schizophrenia and emotionally unstable personality disorder as a teenager, replied: “That’s a big question.
“I know not every day is going to be roses and sunflowers, you know, I know some days I’m going to have to push against the clouds to see that sun again and, you know, I know that, you know, when you have a bad day it doesn’t mean it will be a bad week or a bad month.”
Kate added: “There’s no right or wrong, that’s the thing as well. Different things will work for different people.”
Ben Cowley, a music therapist and assistant mental health adviser for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and Emma Hardwell, a youth participation officer at The Mix, which offers mental health support to the under-25s, also took part in the discussion.