Not all teens are royal watchers, but hopefully many of them will watch the video released today by Prince William, Princess Kate, and Prince Harry for the Heads Together mental health campaign.
The campaign aims to end the stigma around mental health with the goal of “help[ing] people feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing and have the practical tools to support their friends and family.” In the video filmed at Kensington Palace, the three royals have a substantive discussion about mental health and the importance of talking with others rather than keeping feelings bottled up.
Some of the highlights that I think teens and tweens will most appreciate come in the first few moments of the video.
Just talking with someone and having conversations is “like medicine,” as one woman shared with Kate, who explains that even uncomfortable and awkward conversations can be hugely helpful.
Kids will likely really appreciate Prince William’s acknowledgment that the pressures facing kids today are more intense than they ever have been. He attributes that in part to social media.
“And it’s always sold as though everybody else’s life is perfect, and that’s the problem. Therefore, you think that if everyone else’s life is perfect there must be something wrong with me,” says Prince Harry of social media.
Prince Harry says that talking with your family can have immense benefits, including doing better at school and having a stronger family, and beyond. The campaign and the video focus on the fact that mental health problems are found at the heart of some of our greatest social challenges. He also recalls the negative effects he felt when not talking, including the impact of losing their mother at such a young age.
While not all kids can relate to that trauma, they may relate to what Harry says about shutting down rather than facing something sad from the past that can’t be changed.
Hopefully they will convince kids and adults to have and continue to have important conversations. Please remind your tweens and teens that there are many trusted adults who can listen and offer help and support and that if they don’t want to talk with a parent or family member, there are other options. The important thing it to talk with someone.
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