Kate, the Princess of Wales and Prince William were praised for opening up the debate on mental health on a public platform like the BBC despite widespread belief such a move could ruin a celebrity’s career. Daily Mirror’s Royal Editor Russell Myers noted the couple took on the challenge of improving the debate around mental health at a time when the issue was considered a “taboo”.
Speaking on True Royalty’s The Royal Beat, Mr Myers said: “I was reminded when they did the first ever heads together – and I was looking into this this week – they said that no celebrities wanted to be involved at the time.
“I can’t remember how many years ago it was, but nobody wanted.
“They all thought it was a bit taboo, it wasn’t going to do well for their careers.”
However, Mr Myers says the Prince and Princess of Wales have been instrumental in changing opinions, with celebrities now rushing to discuss the topic. He said: “And now people are scrambling to talk about it, which is fantastic.
“But there were the real trailblazers.”
The couple took part in a special episode of BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat to discuss young people and mental health on World Mental Health Day.
Acting as reporters, they moderated a panel discussion with four campaigners and experts in the field of mental health. During the special edition, the Prince and Princess of Wales spoke about the importance of dealing with unexpected obstacles in your personal life, stigmas around mental health and the pressures of social media.
Among the guests on the show were 24-year-old mental health advocate António Ferreria, Emma Hardwell from charity The Mix, music therapist Ben Cowley and Dr Abigail Miranda from the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families.
During the show, Prince William revealed his personal tip, urging people to use a “toolbox” of techniques and coping strategies to help deal with unexpected obstacles.
He said: “A lot of people don’t realise what they need until it actually comes along. You can be living one life one minute and something massively changes and you realise you don’t necessarily have the tools or experience to be able to tackle that.” He continued: “If we can’t look after ourselves we’re not going to be able to tackle the issues we feel we have to on a day-to-day basis.”
The Princess added: “There’s no right or wrong. Different things will work for different people and it’s just sometimes trying different methods, different opportunities that arise to help best support you.”
Prince William and Kate have long been dedicated to the cause of mental health, setting up the Heads Together initiative in 2016 to deconstruct stigma around mental health.
During the pandemic, the couple continued to raise awareness on the issue with a series of activities ranging from leading a star-studded broadcast during Mental Health Awareness Week to visiting children’s centres and checking in on healthcare workers last year to show support.