Prince William, Lady Gaga team up against mental health 'taboo'

Brunilde Fioravanti
Aprile 21, 2017

"We have to make the strongest, most relentless attempt we can to normalize mental health issues, so that people feel like they can come forward", Lady Gaga said in the video, which released on the Royal Family's Facebook page.

The Prince, who was just 12 when his Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a vehicle crash in Paris on August 31 1997, said of his mother: "I think from her perspective she would be overwhelmed and hugely encouraged by the fact that the United Kingdom - not known for wanting to talk about mental health issues - has suddenly got to this point".

Harry, whose mother Diana died in a auto crash in Paris in 1997 when he was just 12, said he had come "very close to a complete breakdown" on several occasions after shutting down his emotions, impacting both his work and his personal life. The award-winning singer addressed her struggles in an open letter posted on her Born This Way Foundation website.

William, along with his wife Kate and Harry, has been campaigning through their mental health campaign Heads Together to encourage the nation to speak about their psychological problems or to be a sympathetic ear. "Just having a conversation with a friend or family member can make such a difference".

This short video is yet another stigma-breaking example that mental health issues don't discriminate. It can be seen as an extension of the work of Diana, who among other things shook the hand of an HIV-positive man during the height of the Aids crisis.

"She was rewriting the script of the royals for the future".

Mental health charities are flatly thrilled. Comments from the royals gain immediate attention - particularly when they offer tantalizing revelations about their private lives.

The Campaign Against Living Miserably, or CALM, said research shows that men particularly have trouble telling others when they feel depressed. William was 15 years old and Harry just 12 when she was killed in a vehicle crash in Paris on August 31 1997. And it looks like they are trying to recruit as many celebrities to help them do it, too.

Lady Gaga told him, "Even though it was hard, [it was] the best thing that could come out of my mental illness was to share it with other people and let our generation, as well as other generations know that if you are feeling not well in your mind that you're not alone and that people that you think would never have a problem, do".

"When we start to shift that taboo and not be afraid of people voicing questions and challenges in their own faith I think it's going to start a dialogue in churches that's really going to make mental health something we can talk about in the church as well as in society".

William also applauded grime musician Stormzy for talking about his battle with depression in the publication CALMzine.

As part of the campaign, William has also encouraged Brits to move on from the "stiff upper lip" they have been always been famous for.

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