London Eye trip for William, Kate & Harry on World Mental Health Day

On World Mental Health Day, William, Kate and Harry attended a special reception at London’s County Hall, followed by a trip on the London Eye for Heads Together, the project the trio started to change the stigma surrounding mental health.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry began the day speaking to people who are involved with their umbrella organisation, which unites seven of the country’s leading mental heath charities and is supported by the Royal Foundation.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended a World Mental Health Day Heads Together event at the London Eye in London. Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended a World Mental Health Day Heads Together event at the London Eye in London. Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images

Each of the Royal guests gave a speech to those gathered at the city’s historic hall, where Prince William emphasised: “Mental health is not a dirty word.

“We all have mental health like we do physical health, good or ill,” said the Duke. “But not seeking help at those times when it all seems too much, or we are depressed or anxious, can impact the rest of our lives. Put simply, the three of us want to make asking for help no longer a big deal.”

He also referenced his work as an air ambulance pilot, which includes call outs to attempted suicides, which William has described as emotional. “Personally, in my work at the air ambulance, I see how colleagues and families help each other through traumatic moments.

“The three of us have learnt a lot in the past few months as we have met people. The conclusion we are coming to is that the more we all talk about this, the more collectively as a society we can do to support one another.”

The Duchess told the crowd: “All of us know someone who has been through difficult emotional times, and we know how hard it can be to see a way forward.

Prince Harry: “It’s time we ended the shame around mental health – the fear of judgment that stops people talking or getting help” #WMHD16

“William, Harry and I feel it is our duty to do what we can, with your help, to shine a spotlight on emotional wellbeing and highlight the support that is out there to prevent or manage the pain at difficult times.”

1 in 4 people will suffer mental health issues in their lives, with the average onset of it coming at the age of just 14. In a time when budget cuts have seen a detrimental effect on services in the UK, the Royals’ work in this area is vital.

In Harry’s address, he talked of how to help those in need: “It’s not rocket science, but most of us don’t know what to do if a friend or family member is suffering. Having some basic knowledge, and having the confidence to act on your knowledge, can make a huge difference to those around us.”

“But we will all experience pressure on our mental health at some point during our lives. The more we accept that, the better we can help each other. Catching it and recognising it early saves lives.”

It was then time for the trio to mingle with guests and hear their stories, including how friends and family had intervened and sought help for them, putting them back on the right track.

Guests at the Heads Together reception were able to use a special photo booth at the event to take selfies and show who had helped them through their tough time.

The trio moved to Embankment for their ride on the London Eye. Joining them in a pod were young people who have battled psychological problems and shared their experiences of mental illness at the County Hall reception.

Morgan Noquet, 19, from Brighton told William, Catherine and Harry how she was inspired to train to become a midwife after her own midwife, Mitch Denny, supported her through the psychological problems she faced during her pregnancy.

Morgan said: “They wanted to know about our story and we spoke about mental health in general and how they can help break down the stigma and get everyone talking about it and make improvements.

“With their status and their profile the fact they’ve chosen mental health, especially as it’s got so much stigma, to hear people who everyone know talking about that is so helpful.”

“Kate spoke about being a mum,” explained Mitch, “and we talked about how her life is high-profile and different from Morgan’s life day-to-day. But you [Morgan] were saying sometimes it’s difficult with Luna your daughter and she was agreeing with that.”

Morgan agreed with Mitch: “It’s quite nice knowing that they are also parents and normal in that respect.”

From the pod, the group was given the great views of the city that tourists enjoy, including Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s cathedral.

Today, on World Mental Health Day, the London Eye will be lit up in purple, with the same done to other landmarks across the world.

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