The British royal family is engaged in philanthropy in many areas of public life. The younger members are very active in the entertainment and social world of helping others. Not often, though, do they throw their considerable weight behind sport as a charitable cause. Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were present this past weekend to cheer on the runners at the London Marathon as part of the Heads Together campaign.
Princes William and Harry have gone public about the mental anguish they suffered in losing their mother, Princess Diana, at such a young age. Princess Diana died Aug. 31,1997 as a result of injuries suffered in a horrific car crash in Paris.
The Heads Together campaign is especially poignant to William and Harry as they recall the grief process. Now, they are opening up about the difficulties they had. They recall that they didn’t talk about the grief they were experiencing as often as they should have. Harry recently said, “I always thought to myself, ‘What’s the point of bringing up the past?’What’s the point of bringing up something that will only make you sad? It ain’t gonna change it. It ain’t gonna bring her back.’ And when you start thinking like that, it can be really damaging.”
Heads Together is a program to help those who may be suffering silently. According to their website, “We aim to change the national conversation on mental health and wellbeing. We are a partnership with decades of experience in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health challenges.”
About Heads Together Prince William said, “We know their work is changing lives and we look forward to having more tough, yet fruitful conversations like this. They really impact the world with positive change.”
The World Health Organization is supporting the fight against stigmatizing those with mental and emotional health issues brought on by trauma (such as the loss of a parent at a young age). WHO is leading a one-year global campaign on depression. The goal of the campaign is more help, more often, for people everywhere in the world with depression.Formerly known as “just the blues,” depression is now known to be the leading cause of ill-health and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people are living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.
The United Nations General Assembly recently weighed in on the issue. Promoting mental health is an integral part of the Sustainable Development Agenda to transform our world by 2030. That resolution was adopted on Sept. 25, 2015. The U.N. stands behind the efforts of the British royals as they did their part at this year’s London Marathon.