PRINCE WILLIAM AND LADY GAGA GET THEIR HEADS TOGETHER ON MENTAL HEALTH TO HELP SHOW YOUNG PEOPLE THAT IT’S ‘OK TO SAY’
Prince William and Lady Gaga have joined forces to encourage more people to have an open conversation about mental health as part of the Heads Together #oktosay film series.
The Royal Family’s Facebook page hosted the World Premiere of a new film of the pair in conversation over FaceTime from their respective homes in London and Los Angeles. They discussed the powerful films that have been released showing people from all walks of life discussing their mental health challenges under the #oktosay banner. Lady Gaga praised them for the ‘beautiful stories’ they told.
Last year Lady Gaga released an open letter through her Born This Way Foundation revealing that she lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Duke was hugely impressed with the openness displayed in the letter and asked Lady Gaga to get involved with the Heads Together campaign.
In their FaceTime call they discussed how opening up and having conversations about mental health was vital to shatter the stigma that still surrounds these issues. Lady Gaga said she felt people with mental health challenges were ‘not hiding anymore’ with The Duke adding 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.’
The Duke and Lady Gaga also made plans to meet in the UK in October to discuss how they can work together and do more to tackle stigma on mental health with Lady Gaga saying ‘we have to make the strongest, most relentless attempt we can to normalise mental health issues.’ They want to have a particular focus on young people.
In the film Prince William said:
“It’s time that everyone speaks up and really feels very normal about mental health, it’s the same as physical health. Everybody has mental health and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it and just having a conversation with a friend or family member can really make such a difference.”
“It’s really important to have this conversation and that you won’t be judged. It’s so important to break open that fear and that taboo which is only going to lead to more problems down the line.”
In the film Lady Gaga said:
“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.”
“We have to make the strongest, most relentless attempt we can to normalise mental health issues, so that people feel like they can come forward.”
The Heads Together campaign, led by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, today also released new YouGov research on the way young people talk about their mental health, including how they increasingly use phones, emails and social media for these conversations.
The YouGov research published today shows that people aged 18-24 are talking more often than older age groups about their mental health but that they are more likely to talk to a friend and less comfortable talking to family members or the GP, than other age groups. It also shows that young people are much more likely than other age groups to start a conversation about their own mental health via text, email or a social media chat.
The #Oktosay films have been published on the Heads Together YouTube page and website and feature a wide range of people including familiar faces such as Stephen Fry, footballer Rio Ferdinand, Stephen Manderson (Professor Green), Cricketer Freddie Flintoff, comedian Ruby Wax, writer Alastair Campbell and model Adwoa Aboah. The films have been released in the run up to the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon, for which Heads Together has the privilege of being the Official Charity of the Year.
Heads Together Charity and Founding Partners have also begun to create their own films showing that it is OK to say. The Mix and Young Minds have released films showing young people talking about their mental health and both Dixons and Unilever have published films showing employees talking to each other about pressures to their mental health. All films tagged with #oktosay are being brought together on to the Heads Together YouTube page.
Recent YouGov research commissioned by Heads Together shows that eight out of ten people who have talked about their own mental health feel that it has helped and the campaign hopes that people who see the films will be encouraged to have their own conversation.
In a statement issued when the films series launched The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry said:
“Attitudes to mental health are at a tipping point. We hope these films show people how simple conversations can change the direction of an entire life. Please share them with your friends and families and join us in a national conversation on mental health in the weeks ahead.”