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Prince Harry: mental health should be at heart of armed forces training

11 October 2017
Prince Harry: mental health should be at heart of armed forces training

Just over half (51 percent) of those asked said it was now easy to speak about mental health.

He, together with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have reconfirmed their commitment to the issue of mental health with the announcement of a £2m investment to establish a new start-up to support innovative mental health digital tools. "But in many ways I have learned more about the sacrifices our servicemen and women make for us all since I left the army and continued my work with the Invictus Games".

Harry, 33, who spent 10 years in the Army and served twice in Afghanistan, said to stay fighting fit military personnel needed to be treated like top athletes who are advised by sports scientists and psychologists to focus mentally on their goals and wellbeing.

The royal explained that the new initiative is "providing tools and information that will help everyone in the defense community to get ahead of some of these problems before they start".

Lady Gaga said she felt people with mental health challenges were "not hiding anymore" and the Duke added that it is time "to feel normal about mental health - it's the same as physical health" and that good conversations can 'really make such a difference'.

Giving a speech on World Mental Health Day alongside his brother Prince Harry, William explained the origins of their campaign, saying: "When Catherine, Harry and I launched Heads Together, it is fair to say that we were ambitious about what it could achieve".

"This also shows that support at home is quite key, isn't it?"

The MoD said the move would build upon a recently launched government strategy aimed at improving mental health among military workers, civilian staff, their families and veterans.

Experts noted, the publicity arising from initiatives including the the London Marathon and Harry's interview about his own mental health had inspired more men to come forward and start a conversation about their difficulties.

Discussing the statistic that three quarters of suicides in the United Kingdom are men, he stated: "That's still a worrying statistic though, it really is".

The partnership is the latest in a series of royal efforts to promote greater understanding around the issue through the work of the Foundation's Heads Together campaign, launched in May a year ago.

In February, before the campaign gathered momentum, a YouGov survey of 14,000 people revealed 45% of men and 52% of women were talking about mental health.

As a parent, he also wants to tackle the problem from the very beginning.