This April saw members of the Royal Family continuing to raise the awareness of mental health. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince along with Prince Harry worked with Heads Together Charity who were the official sponsors of the 2017 London Marathon.
This is not the first time that the Royal Family have spoken out about mental health - the Duke and Duchess are involved with other charities that work in this field - particularly around child mental health, with the Duchess of Cambridge being the Royal Patron of Place2be.
Not only did they shine a light on these important charities, but Prince Harry spoke out for the first time about his own mental health problems and he acknowledged that it is essential to deal with emotions in a healthy way - by seeking help, rather than internalising feelings. Furthermore, Prince Harry spoke about how not getting help with his grief led to feeling overwhelmed to the point that he may have hurt someone - “I shut down all my emotions...I was on the verge of punching someone”. Prince Harry spoke about seeking support from a therapist, describing it as a “great” source of support.
Prince Harry also used an important word to describe his feelings and how the world felt to him during his crisis - “Chaos”. Often, when we feel in turmoil over something our feelings not only come to the fore, but they also feel confusing - or chaotic - which further increases the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Therapy can help both the internal and external chaos we sometimes find ourselves in - it’s not just about talking through a problem (though this alone has been shown to help), but it’s also about getting our feelings and experiences in clearer order - kind of like a ‘spring clean’. This then means that life feels more manageable again and our feelings more bearable.
Mental health is not just my profession, it is also something I am passionate about - so please do call or email me if you would like to connect on this. Perhaps you would like to share your ideas or find out more. Raising awareness will help reduce stigma and this in turn will go someway in creating a kinder, easier society.
I am a child and adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist based in Chichester, covering West and East Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.